“Ummi (Mommy) has a baby in her belly! I’m going to be a big sister!” Beautiful brown eyes look up in dancing amazement. “Yes, you are and you are going to be the best big sister to your baby sister, I just know it.” After several months of wild anticipation, the baby arrives. Not once did this young girl, excited about being a big sister, have a thought in her mind that her parents would love her any less when her baby sister arrived. Even after the arrival of her baby sister, with all of the changed energy from having a new addition to the family, one that required different attention and even more at many times, she still felt loved and secure in her place within the hearts of her parents. Why? How? I will tell you that it’s about cultivating and prioritizing the love that is shared between loved ones. I will also tell you that it is the understanding that love is ever-expanding and being aware of that fact can help us to create and build fulfilling relationships between our children and other loved ones. Yes, that includes spouses.
When the “expanding love for multiple children” idea is used as an example to explain the concept of expanding love in polygyny, it becomes a challenge for some to wrap their heads around. They state that you cannot compare the relationship between parents and children with the relationship between a husband and wife or wives. Why not? Is it because people only see the sexual relationship that spouses have with one another, so through that difference they cannot be compared? Or is it because children come directly from their parents so there cannot possibly be a correlation to the type of love that can be felt, shared or displayed between parents and children versus between spouses? When it comes down to it we are human beings. We have basic human needs. Certain things that drive us and make us feel special, wanted, needed and appreciated. Those feelings are there whether we are children or adults, whether it’s a parent/child relationship or a relationship between spouses. It’s because of that reason, we can try to understand love expansion, prioritizing and cultivating love through one of the most precious relationships, the relationship that is between parents and their child/ren.
So, how did the daughter in the above story have this fulfilled relationship with her parents as well as a loving relationship with her sister? How, even though there were times she was reprimanded, she and her sister disagreed and times when her feelings were hurt, she still knew that she was loved and didn’t question the love her parents or her sister had for her? It started with the cultivating of love. That came in the form of spending quality time with her, listening to her concerns, explaining to her that it’s not going to always be about her but that fact doesn’t change the love, attention and care that she will receive. This cultivation of love didn’t happen overnight, it happened over time. The self-esteem of the young girl was nurtured. There was a consistency in being intentional with showing love in the way she received and understood love. That was before and after the arrival of her baby sister. She was prepared for love expansion because it was explained to and shown to her and she was ready to be a part of it. She was taught that life is not always a smooth ride and through the challenges we must come out better people through the lessons and not let those challenges take away the beauty of our natural selves, but allow us to grow more beautiful like the butterfly struggling to emerge from its chrysalis.
This model can be used in marriage as well. Especially in polygyny. In cultivating your relationship with your spouse, you must display patience, understanding, trust and a place of security. That comes with proper communication as well as being intentional with designing what you want the outcome of your marriage to look like together. Knowing there will be ups and downs, highs and lows but also knowing that you will work through the bad, celebrate the good and work to not violate the other’s trust. It’s about basic needs and it does not matter the type of relationship as long as the relationship involves love. Yes, it takes work. To grow a beautiful garden, we must cultivate it and rid it of the weeds that will try to choke it to death. If we understand that about nature, we must understand that relationships do not deviate from those same principles, as creating, building and growing relationships are a part of nature’s process as well.
Watch our recent YouTube Livestream on Cultivating, Prioritizing and Expanding Love in Polygyny