Thoughts on Love
A long, long time ago, I used to think that love was simply something
one felt... a feeling we had for others...
But, after I read Scott Peck's book... "The Road Less Traveled"
I determined that love is something we do...
a purposeful extension of self...
for someone else...
even though to us it may come at a cost.
I taught my children this definition of love.
If you love someone, you show it.
Words can be shallow.
Words without acts have no meaning.
But, that definition did not always match with my perceptions about moderation,
self-protection... keeping balance...or in other words...
I've been working my entire life to put in better boundaries with
people who aim to hurt - people who cannot be trusted with my heart.
(of course, most people who are in my life are not this way....)
in fact, I have incredible family and friends and I could not be more grateful...
but, I've always been pretty
naive about evil in the world. I don't understand
purposely hurt others.
I've discovered that many people love out of their own perspective...
out of how they were once loved... or not loved...
Some from childhood have learned patterns of selfishness.
Perhaps they were indulged too much... spoiled rotten.
This can lead to lack a lack of empathy and regard for others.
And other people learned patterns of giving.
Perhaps doing acts of love was modeled for them by their caregivers...
This can create a deep sense of empathy and regard for others.
As for me, I'm sure I have caused hurt...
though I honestly always try to
"Do No Harm..."
(after all... it's the counselor's oath)
We all know that when we live with and love people,
it's impossible to not hurt them sometimes.
Setting boundaries can feel a bit wrong- like we are not loving.
But, for staying healthy... boundaries are important!
They keep our spirit strong and ward against depression and anxiety.
And boundaries are difficult, too!
They have never come
naturally for me.
To keep hurtful people
at arms length is not my forte.
I pray about this a lot... for God to give me wisdom
that I might care for other's hearts in a way that I also practice self care.
So the best I can do is to strive for a good balance every day...
in all that I do,
at work, at play, at family, at friendship...
just trying to be authentic...
to be real.
(this song by Extreme says it best... Love is "More Than Words" - though this song
was probably written for people who were in romantic love, I think it is applicable to all
kinds of love. It's a simple song. It's truthful.
I've always liked this song!)
There are two amazingly exceptional people who taught me how to love...
they've modeled love all my life.
But, they also seem to have a precise balance...
in their marriage...
in their friendships...
in their Christian walk with God...
I've strived to model this to my precious children...
(these are my parents at the barbecue place after church at Calvary last fall...
you can see the joyful, loving spirit in their smile, their eyes)
They are authentic.
They are real.
They've proven over and over that love is a verb...
something you do...
not simply something you say.
Love (luv) verb.
La - Ti - Do!
P.S... thanks for reading the ramblings of this soul singing blogger!