November 13, 2012 § 46 Comments
I used to believe that love was a form of relationship. I love you; you love me. That’s our deal.
I would diligently monitor my love relationships. Feeling hurt or wronged, I would ask- was that an act of someone who loves me? If she loves me, how can she not see my needs?
Or I would turn this judgment on myself. Why have I been filled with anger towards her? Why have I been so cold and distant?
When the ledger got out of balance- and it always did- I called the deal into question. Does she really love me? Enough? Or, looking inward, I’d ask whether my conduct suggested the absence of love? And in either case, I doubted my commitment. Perhaps time to back out of the deal, I’d think.
All, all, wrong.
Love, as I now seek to live it, is not a relationship or a deal. There is no ledger. Love is not earned or maintained. Love exists in my simple, full, and caring acceptance of the other person. It resides within me. It doesn’t depend on what you do, or fail to do.
If she is angry, I love her in her anger. If she is depressed, I love her in her depression. If she hurts me, I love her in her very assault.
This is the love that I seek to embody. I often, maybe most always, fall short. Sometimes hideously short. But now I know.
Seeking to love others in this way, I also know that I must begin with myself. Suspend self-judgment. Never wish to have done this or that. Cherish who I am. Only from that foundation can this sacred and abiding love for others come.
Just love. Only love.