Saturday, April 16, 2011

What Love is Not

If it makes the recipient feel like garbage- it's not love.

If it's unkind or hurtful- it's not love.

Saying you're doing something, "out of love" or concern, doesn't make it true.

Saying unkind or hurtful things in a jokey wokey manner in order to conceal your uneasy feelings does not make them any less hurtful or unkind or inject them with love. It's like being stabbed in the back by a loved one who's hugging you and telling you how much they care while they push the knife deeper.

If it involves you judging whether another person's choices for their own life are right or wrong, it's not love.

Saying you're a Christian doesn't make you one. Jesus never made anybody feel like garbage. Turns out that whole, "They will know you by your love." thing is actually pretty crucial to the whole plot.

When you tell someone that you love and respect them you just can't support their relationship because it doesn't live up to your standards of how a relationship should proceed, you're not loving or respecting them. You're judging them.

I've been guilty of all these things myself.

I'm awake and writing this at 4 am because of one specific and painful betrayal, but this is not about one instance or situation. In the last year people in my life have divided themselves into two sharply differentiated groups. Those who know what love is and those who labor under a delusion that love is something it's not. Supportive friends span the spectrum from atheist to faithful follower of Christ but the cruel hurtful words have come from only one group. Can you guess what that is? [Hint: it's not the atheists.]

I wish I could develop a thicker skin when it comes to being betrayed by people I thought cared for me.

1 comment:

Gypsy Guru said...

This kind of betrayal is so hard - it practically leaves you gasping for air, your head spinning frantically as you try to figure out who's messing with the Earth's axis. I'm glad you have loving support - I wholehearted throw my lot in with that camp - but I know that there are some people in life whose reactions carry more weight... and whose betrayals hurt infinitely more. A thicker skin rarely helps in those cases because the injury goes right to your heart.

One of the best, most infuriatingly difficult lessons I've learned is to (TRY) not take those hurts personally. The responsibility for the action of betrayal is on the head of the betrayer. You've made your bed, you've accepted your consequences, you've made your peace with your decisions - how they act or react is their problem.

Non-sequitur: I received my (squee!) eucalyptus yesterday - photos are on my blog - HUGE HUGS from afar!