Friday, May 5, 2017

Love me for my flaws, fine. But never dare allow them to hurt you.

“People use the word 'love' a lot of different ways. Take me, for instance. I am often heard saying that I love my mom and dad. I am also often heard saying that I love pizza. 

What am I saying when I say I love my mom and dad? I'm saying that I care about them. I'm saying that I love spending time with them and that I talk to them every chance I get. I'm saying that if they needed me, I would do every humanly possible to help them. I'm saying that I always want what's best for them. 
What am I saying when I say I love pizza? Am I saying that I care deeply about pizza? Am I saying that I have a relationship with pizza? Am I saying that if pizza had a problem, I would be there for the pizza? (What? Not enough pepperoni? I'll be right there!) 

Of course not. When I say I love pizza, I'm just saying that I enjoy eating pizza until I don't want any more pizza. Once I'm tired of the pizza, I don't care what happens to the rest of it. I'll throw it away. I'll feed it to the dog. I'll stick it in the back of the refrigerator until it gets all green and moldy. It doesn't matter to me anymore. 

These are two very different definition of the word 'love'. 

It gets confusing when people start talking about love, and especially about loving you. Which way do these people love you? Do they want what is best for you, or do they just want you around because it is good for them, and they don't really care what happens to you? 

Next time someone looks deeply into your eyes and says 'I love you', look very deeply right back and say, 'Would that be pizza love, or the real thing?'” 

~ Mary Beth Bonacci ~

Because of the endless ways people describe love   based on how they give it, or how they want to receive it there is no more one standard to distinguish real one from something that simply feeds a need. And each person has countless undefined needs longing to be met. So many end up taking whatever satisfies what current need one feels should be attended first. Then, this becomes their definition of love. "I need appreciation." "I need attention." "I need this and that and that and that...."  and the list of needs goes on...........

There is certainly nothing wrong asking for our needs to be attended. But, once it becomes our basis for weighing whether we are being loved or not, then we selfishly control how a person should express or give love. We end up implementing unspoken rules which when not met, become what we use against the person in subject. It would be fair to simply say, long as no deliberate wrong is done to me, then the love of the person is not to be questioned. Bottom line is, not one person fully understands how God wants love to be demonstrated. That's all. We base it on whether we are gratified or dismayed. Unreliable scale.

There is this idea put into a book called, "The Five Love Languages".  The intention of the author (from my perspective, sure you have your own, too) is to help couples understand their own love language against their partners'. This way, they can understand how the other person wishes to be loved and their own expression of love. What problem I found is when we use this as a gauge whether the other is exerting effort to love us in the way we wanted to be loved. When we start imposing on another how we want to be loved. It's totally opposite what the Bible teaches, "love does not insist its own way" (1 Corinthians 13:5).  The Bible only tells us to be selfless. How "it is much better to give than to receive."  Because Jesus didn't face the sufferings looking at us and asking Himself whether He should continue going through such suffering since people didn't look like they're gonna love Him in the way He wants (even deserves).  But, it's certainly of a huge benefit if we use the book to just remind ourselves that our loved ones love differently than we do. Go ahead and learn, just never impose.

I still hold that love is a decision. A decision of the one loving. Whether they get the love they want back or not, they choose to love regardless. One question we all should ask ourselves before even entering a relationship is if we are willing to give love in spite whatever we might not appreciate about and receive from our love objects. We can't go on blurting out the words, "I love you" without understanding what are its implications or meaning. I came to understand that the reason we all keep on getting disappointed is not that our loved ones don't really love us. It's more of, we just don't accept the way they are loving us, which differ from one person to another. We have a picture in mind of what love should be.

Of course, there are people who love in a damaging way. I won't deny this. And this is the very reason why a great number of people are broken. These people love in a harmful way because they are not really loving but investing. They're giving, and so they are imposing returns. Worse, they foist what could gratify them, not anymore considering the welfare of the other. They think because they're feeling deeply for another, it's love. When it could only actually be nothing but INFATUATION. A strong one. And this is where the decision comes in. Are we going to continue loving a person and commit to understanding them, though we are hurting? Such is what is called, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.

While unconditional love is something that comes out naturally there is no need for internal deliberation whether you'll continue loving or not there still will come a point when a decision has to be made against the loved object for the sake of harmony and peace (especially inner peace) when they are being destructive. Because none of us deserves to suffer a kind of cruelty done by a self-seeking person. It will be so draining. We can always love from a distance. A relationship should be beneficial to both parties. It's looking after each other's welfare and promoting each one's. Of all the SIGNS we must look for, it is whether the relationship is making us better individuals or destroying us. This is the measure we should be using. Selfish? No. Because we are to be cultivators of one another. And if we are broken, then we will keep breaking each other. As they say, "hurt people hurt people."   

As love is a decision, it is solely our obligation to ourselves whether we are gonna choose to love anyone or set them free.....instead of making them liable to our own decision. We must never tell anyone "I did this and that for you so ..." Well, not everyone really says this (verbally) but from their acts it's what they're really communicating. We should give people the freedom to either return the love the way they love or simply refuse the offer. And not try to fashion anyone according to our liking just because we want them, but not completely.......when we like only parts of them. We can't try and make anyone fit into our mold. If we love a certain way, we can't expect the same from another. Let them be who and how they are. That is one way of loving selflessly.

It saves us exhaustive emotional drain if we simply put the responsibility on our own selves whether to subject ourselves to a kind of suffering or reject it. Not a wise thing to keep someone and do blame game later on. There is no need to keep a person like an object because we feel deeply for them. We can love them all we want without owning them, but we must not say we love them and at the same time resent who they are. That's so irreconcilable.

“People like to say love is unconditional, but it's not. And even if it was unconditional, it's still never free. There's always an expectation attached. They always want something in return. Like they want you to be happy or whatever and that makes you automatically responsible for their happiness because they won't be happy unless you are ... I just don't want that responsibility.”
Katja Millay ~

Enough of my musing.... 

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A Love with a promise of permanence.

"...if any hear MY voice and open the door,  I will come into their house and eat with them,  and they will eat with ME." ...

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