Greatest Love of All

Note: I apologize ahead for a longer post.

When I saw this new meme by Jae Lynn, Musically Ranting, I knew it was something I want to write for. I love music, but I am really bad at remembering the names of songs, or the artists. I read the first prompt and one song immediately came to mind, but that is not the song I am going with today. No, I have chosen a song which, from the moment I heard it and really listened to the words, this song has been in my mind frequently.

I am talking about the song, Greatest Love of All by Whitney Houston. Now Jae has asked us to choose a song that we think is different, and where this might not be the case for this song, I do think some people will find this too sweet. Still, I want to use this song to share a bit more about myself, and my life.

I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride
To make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be

Two weeks ago, I visited my son, keeping social distancing in mind. I haven’t seen him for two months, and I missed him. I wanted to know he was okay, since I knew he found the social distancing very difficult, up to the point where he was allowed to work again. He was perfectly okay, in love (new relationship), and everything about him told me he was happy. But, he was also in a reflecting mood. He told me about the talks he had with the girl, as they got to know each other better.

“Mom, you remember what you always told me, even through my darkest times?”
I did, as I had this mantra I always repeated to him, not only for him, but also for me. Before I could answer, he continued talking: “You always told me it will be okay. Told me I am stronger than I give myself credit for.”

He was quiet for a while, and I was swallowing hard to get the lump from my throat.
“Well,” he said, “I think you were right all along. I wouldn’t have come through everything if I wasn’t strong. Thank you for believing in me. I only now see how much those words helped me, even though I didn’t believe them at the time.”

By now I had to look away, so he couldn’t see the tears forming in my eyes. Not that I am ashamed to cry in front of him, but this was just such a special moment. I look at the words in that verse from the song, and yes, I know I have shown him the beauty — and strength — he possesses inside, I gave him a sense of pride. Not only him, but also our daughters. Our oldest — my daughter — always was a sunshine child, and a person who knew what she wanted for life, and lives her life according to the proper values. She’s strong. Super strong, and a brilliant mom, and wife. And daughter. Our youngest daughter — my bonus child from another mom — is a bubbly personality, another sunshine child, and one that knows even better what she wants from life than the oldest. In her case it was nurture that got her where she is now, not nature.

I believe children are our future, and if we don’t support them, don’t give them that sense of pride, don’t let them see their own beauty, their own strength, this earth is doomed.

Everybody’s searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone who fulfilled my needs
A lonely place to be
And so I learned to depend on me

I think we are indeed all looking for a hero, someone we can look up to. My mom was my hero; my husband still is. There were others along the way, but they have all fell from the pedestals I briefly put them on. This is not only something of now, but has been a red thread throughout my life. So many times there were people I looked up to, only to be disappointed by them, or as the song says, find they don’t fulfill my needs. Things that happened in my life has taught me that I have to depend on myself, that I shouldn’t look for a hero outside of myself.

As I sit here, thinking about the friends I had along the way, the things I liked to do, about school, work, colleagues, fellow students… I recognize myself always doing ‘my thing’. Yes, there were more than enough times where I allowed someone in, where I still searched for that hero, but when I found one, that only lasted briefly. Eventually I returned to finding the hero inside me. I don’t find this a lonely place to be. No, depending on myself, means there can be no disappointments, or at least not to the degree like when someone else ‘betrays’ you.

How does Master T fit in with this as a ‘hero’ and with me depending on myself? He supports me in everything I do, which makes depending on myself also depending on him. See, he is my hero.

I decided long ago never to walk in anyone’s shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I’ll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can’t take away my dignity

That first sentence doesn’t ring true for me all the time, as just like with searching for a hero, I have also walked in many people’s shadows during my life. Just like heroes fell from their pedestals, too many times I realized walking in someone else’s shadow is not the thing to do. The same way, I don’t want others to walk in my shadow. All I want is to be able to do my own thing, with respect for all people around me. I think what happens time and time again is that I come full circle from not walking in anyone’s shadow, to doing it, and getting back to not doing it. And each time I step out of the shadow of someone else, and get back to ‘doing my own thing’, get back to my own values of love, respect and peace, I realize: No matter what they take from me, they can’t take away my dignity.

I keep on believing in the good of everyone out there, trusting people until they proof me wrong. It just seems that I have to bump my head over and over again, and with each time I do, I grow stronger, and come back to living as I believe. Words that are stuck in my head, said to me in support of recent events are: you can only control your character not your reputation.

Because the greatest love of all is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all inside of me
The greatest love of all is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all

I know that it’s always said that if you can’t love yourself, how can you expect others to do so, but as a wise woman pointed out to me, for some people it is very difficult to love themselves. I have my days too, where I don’t love myself, but for the majority I am in the privileged position to have found the love inside of me. The love is not only for me. I spread it around, because I do believe in spreading the good things, in paying it forward. My mom was like that, always helping others, always willing to listen, to support, and it’s something I have inherited from her, whether it’s because of the example she had set, or that I’s part of my character.

Sometimes this is a lonely place to be. People don’t always believe in good intentions. Many people are suspicious of it. One thing I have experienced is that it’s part of human nature to see the negative, rather than the positive, to be jealous of what we don’t have, instead of grateful for what we do. I try to remind myself over and over of the things I am grateful for, my husband, my kids, my family, my friends, my life. And where negativity can gravely upset me, I look deep inside myself and, remind myself of who I am, and find my strength in love.

And if, by chance, that special place
That you’ve been dreaming of
Leads you to a lonely place
Find your strength in love

Song written by Michael Masser, lyrics by Linda Creed and first performed by George Benson in 1997, and it topped the charts when sung by Whitney Houston in 1985.

© Rebel’s Notes

Musically Ranting

4 thoughts on “Greatest Love of All

  1. I think you’re right, everyone is indeed looking for a hero. I relate to you to finding the hero inside of me because indeed, there can be no disappointments that way. My hero otherwise is my teddy, bc same, lol.

    “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all”
    What a beautiful lyric. With every post you write, I’m again reminded of how strong you are and I really admire you for it. And thank you for being such a caring person and believing the best in people. I know it works against you, but it’s such a wonderful quality to have too

  2. Thank you very much for joining in Marie ❤️. I’ve loved Whitney Houston since childhood. Hopefully this doesn’t sound too dated but my first recollection of this song was singing it (as a group) in grade school for one of our school concerts. It has always had a special place in my heart.

    It is so heart-warming to read how things have come full circle with your son. It isn’t until we are adults that we see how much our parents give to make sure we are loved and cared for.

    1. I think I was quite late to the party, learning about this song. Or maybe I was just late really listening at the words, but it has been with me ever since. Yet, I still sometimes have to remind myself of the greatest love of all.
      Thank you, I am proud of the young man my son has become, glad he found his strength xox

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