Guidance from America’s mom.
Imagine being married — happily married — to the same man for 73 years.
Imagine being on your deathbed with same loving husband holding your hand, sipping your bourbon, and surrounded by family.
If you are a long time single, these facts can be hard to take. If you are over 50 and still looking for love, you know good and well that a 73-year marriage is pretty much out of the picture.
Does that mean you give up? Of course not. While your life may not include a relationship like what Barbara and George Bush Sr. had, it is not too late for you to take the heart of their commitment and desire for one another and use their success as a model to find your own love.
While Barbara Bush was fiercely and famously the matriarch of her family, you are the “matriarch” of your own life, your ideas, and your life choices. Make a decision today to raise your game!
Here are 8 of the best Barba Bush quotes on love and family:
1. Hug everyone.
“To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.”
When you live far from your blood family or if mental illness has separated your real family, you owe it to yourself to find a tribe for yourself. If you are not getting enough hugs, you can do something about it.
Volunteer at the food kitchen and believe me, you will have plenty of hugging opportunities.
2. Do not be ashamed of love.
“I married the first man I ever kissed. When I tell this to my children, they just about throw up.”
Some of us married the first man we kissed and ended up in trouble. Not everyone has this kind of good fortune but what Barbara teaches here is to talk about what works in love. Unabashed, she bragged about that first kiss whether her kids liked it or not. Brava.
3. Family does not mean being connected by blood.
“Cherish your human connections — your relationships with friends and family.”
Once upon a time, I was a Bible study teacher. During those days, I found a scripture which said, “God places the lonely in families.” That passage brought me to tears that day.
I have found more love and respect from my non-blood family over the years than I have from my blood family. My human connections are even more precious to me because of that.
4. Be generous.
“Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our mind to the unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others.”
5. Love unconditionally and unselfishly.
“You have to love your children unselfishly. That is hard. But it is the only way.”
This is backbreaking advice but necessary. What if you don’t have kids? There are people and situations in your life that demand your un-snarky commitment. Loving these things unselfishly will challenge you, completely.
I know for sure that being a mom forced me to my knees in ways nothing else did. Learning to love unselfishly is a lifelong mission that Mrs. Bush never abandoned.
6. Be involved in something great.
“Believe in something larger than yourself…get involved in the big ideas of your time.”
If you are single, it is even more important to get the heck out there and get involved with something big that is happening in your community. Volunteers have great energy.
People who are passionate about causes already have that in common. Remember those hugs from above? Here is another place to get your love tank filled. Volunteer!
7. Choose to give.
“Some people give time, some money, some their skills and connections, some literally give their life’s blood. But everyone has something to give.”
Everyone. Even you. When you’re single, you might find yourself whining a lot (no offense intended). You know what I mean, everyone has it better than you.
“Easy for Barbara Bush to say this, she was rich and married her soulmate,” you might say.
I know. You have the choice to view your own life as full of good to give to others or full of stuff to complain about. Your choice.
8. Challenge others.
“Bias has to be taught. If you hear your parents downgrading women or people of different backgrounds, why, you are going to do that.”
Yes, in this time of #metoo and #timesup, men are being called on the carpet to shape up or else. I love that Mrs. Bush reminds us all that bias is taught to people, it is not their natural state. She was a Texas woman and there is plenty of good old boy crap that she had to live through. Her intelligence, grace, and humor went great lengths to challenge the status quo.
Thank you, Mrs. Bush.
Catherine Behan is a peak performance coach specializing in communication who can zero in on and uncover hidden blocks to success like nobody’s business. She enjoys coloring, collecting sea glass with her dogs at the beach, being inspired by Shark Tank, and loves the stories of successful women doing life their way. Have fun with the Personal Magnetism Quiz at Dating CPR and find her blog on her website.