Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Note on Love and Other Struggles

I started this post a week or so ago with the thought of referencing this Thought Catalog entry about the difference between a husband and a boyfriend. The death of Robin Williams, an actor and comedian that had such an impact on my childhood and life, has only put it in deeper perspective and motivated me to finish it up.

I mentioned in my end of year post that 2013 was the year of LOVE. I felt a lot of of love from my friends and got a whole new perspective on what it really means to love people. I don't know if it was fairy tales or the way I grew up, but I've always viewed love as somewhat of a selfish act. Saying someone/something is so important to you and your life that I guess one almost looses themselves in the person they 'love'. Almost as if the person you 'loved' belonged to you (and vice versus) and if you found a person who agreed to belong to you that was 'true love'.  With that view this 'love' everyone talked about was exhausting, self consuming and often left me feeling really alone and confused when I was trying to figure out how you can love someone who 'hurts' you. Feelings wise I mean, it left me really angry and defensive. I'm not just talking about relationships either, friendships were in this category. Long story short, if you weren't my best friend you were dirt to me. If you weren't 110% with me, on the same page, you were against me.

There was a point this spring, literally overnight, where this view changed for me. I had one of those "if they loved me how could they even think about doing this to me!" moments that you see in movies. As much as I wanted to push this into the 'dirt' category, there was just something about that couldn't. That would mean that every beautiful, happy, loving moment was dirt and I knew, in my soul, that that wasn't the case. It wasn't black, it wasn't white and bottom line it wasn't about ME. It was about this person. This person that I loved, this person that I knew, at the very least cared about me on some level. So how can a person who cares do something hurtful?  It's not because they hate you, its not because they're not your friend, its because they don't know how to process, like myself at times and like so many humans. In that moment I was filled with so much care and love and concern, but at the same time understood that I didn't have the mental or emotional capacity to put myself through that treatment. Thats when I realized what it meant to love. To understand and respect the struggle of being a human, but to be able to respect your own boundaries. To keep your heart open, but protect yourself.
I was so incredibly surprised when I was so filled with this new love and I just had to get it out, that through shaking and tears face one of my deepest fears and came out 'okay'. A few months prior, had I done what I did I would have 100% regretted it. I sat there, looking at my therapist, and was so weirded out how 'okay' I felt. I was fine. She just looked at me and said "when you do something out of love you don't regret, no matter the outcome."

I think the last paragraph in that Thought Catalog post sums it up:
The Guy You Marry: The guy you have fun with, but also cry with, laugh with, fight with, love with, and will be with for the rest of your life. You have feelings for him, but you are not with him solely because of your emotions. You are with him because you will love him apart from how tired, depressed, or angry you feel. He understands that loving you denotes sacrificing his time, energy, and other aspirations, and is still more than willing to make the commitment. He loves you not with a selfish or envious love, but with a patient, enduring, humble, faithful and selfless one. 
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs. It does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.” -1 Corinthians 13:4-7
I've been wanting a white tattoo for a few years now and in this moment I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted an everyday reminded to keep my heart open, to do all things in 'Love'. 1 Corinthians has been a running theme in my life and I knew I just had to do the simple, white, open heart.


Not to say that Robin Williams wasn't loved, or did hurtful things, but it just strikes the chord of that, everyone is fighting their own battle. Their dealing with their own demons and struggles and actions are based on that. The ones that hurt the most often need the most love.  So keep your heart open. Keep loving. "There are a lot of amazing people out there to be grateful for. Thats what life is about"

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