Yesterday I wrote a post called Love Hopes and I thought I was done with it, but I got an email that raised a question that I've been thinking about all day. I was going to answer it privately, but then it occurred to me that maybe it was worth another post.
So here's the question. It'll probably make more sense if you go back and read the Love Hopes post, especially if you didn't read it the first time.
" I tried my best to smile and nod and say maybe this time will be different, I hope it works out the way you want it to, but ... you know the past and you know what will most likely happen and ... ".
I want to understand! What will happen if I stay the same?
What I was talking about here was that I was trying to share in this persons optimism that their experience with their family would be different this time. That the thing they were sacrificing, the part of their life they were offering up to their family as a declaration of their love would somehow, this time, be enough, be more than enough and their family would realize and believe that the giver really loved them.
What will happen if I stay the same?
If you stay the same, you will miss the love in your life.
It's that simple and that clear.
And yup. I'm harsh. I don't do a good job of candy coating what I think because usually when I do that, it just gets confusing and there are misunderstandings. That said, I will continue a conversation with a person over years to make sure that we both understand the other without the hurts of being forward in my thoughts.
Anyway, back to the point.
A lot of that particular post was about missing the point in your life, or missing the love that is standing right in front of you.
We all do it in our own ways. Some of us do it in a huge, dramatic way, some of us do it in small minor ways, but we all do it. Slights happen. It's what we decide to do next. It's all in how we decide to think about something.
Each and every person has a somewhat unique idea of what love is and what love looks like and how love acts. We can all quote different authorities, including the Bible until our lips fall off, but it doesn't change the truth that each one of us has a unique perspective of what love is.
The rub is in our level of acceptance. Our level of grace and contentment.
I read it on another person's Facebook this week.
"We must consider the cost of being right."
I've thought about that a lot.
The cost of being right can be the sacrifice of the relationship, the sacrifice of the love that other person is trying to give you.
That's a very high cost.
Another person this week quoted something along the lines of this:
"Bitterness is the poison you drink down hoping the other will die."
Again, a powerful thought.
So back to the top, "What happens if I stay the same?"
I think what happens is you get to stand on the platform of righteousness, claiming your correctness and drinking down the poison hoping the other person dies a painful death because they aren't loving you the way your ideal of love tells you it should be happening.
Yup. Again with the harsh thing. It's a gift, what can I say.
The point is this. We all have our ideals of what love should be, what it should feel like, look like, behave like and so on. We all do. There is no way to deny it.
The next point is this. No one in our lives will love us according to that ideal. They can't and they won't. It doesn't work that way.
Why? Because they're evil and mean and really don't love you and are trying to make you life a living hell?
No. Not at all. They love you the way they love you because of whatever their ideal of love is.
In a way it's all that love language jazz. In a way, it's a childhood influence. In a way, it's Divine.
Whatever. It simply is.
The final point is this. We can pick how we receive the love given by another. We decide. When the love comes and it looks like something other than what we want it to be, what we think it should be, what we believe is right and true and really love, what do we do?
Do we reject it? Do we go all martyr about it? Do we focus on ourselves and cry about what we've given to that person and what they "never" give to us? Do we jump into that pity party pool and claim that no one every gets it, no one loves us or whatever variation of that fits us?
A lot of us do. I'd say at some point in every single relationship, we all do that. We're human. It happens. We all have a moment or two where we just wish that certain someone would love us in a certain specific way, but in the end how you decide to dwell on it is what makes or breaks a life, a love.
We have to have love to live. We have to have grace and humility to have love. Sometimes it's a weird smelly looking thing in our lives, but if we keep on looking and push down those negative, judgemental, wishful, ideal love ideas, we will see the real love that is really there.
I'm betting this is less clear than Part 1, but that's OK, because I can go around for Part 3.