Sadly, Tina Turner was a little bit right…
I think we have miscues about love. Normally I write about things that amuse me but today for some reason I was amused by something I’ve heard over the years a dozen times.
“I don’t know if I love her anymore”
“I don’t know if I love him anymore”
It’s such a dangerous thing to say because the moment you do, you’re done.
What’s love got to do with it?
Well, which kind of love are we talking about? Some people love their yards, or their cars. Sadly some people love their cats. I can’t breath around cats because they suck the air from my lungs and drain my soul of life (also I might be allergic:), but “love” in these terms is more “I think fondly of ____.”
I’m attracted to eating badly and it is good for my soul in the sense of an emotional high, but it will definitely kill my body over a long period of time. I won’t be in love with the result of poor decisions then.
So what’s love got to do with it?
In February I’ll be exploring a series at Venue about Love & Loyalty. I think I’ve found a secret sauce in the binding of our hearts to what will matter most to us in the end, but our hearts are fickle and easily turned aside.
There was a day when people entered into a relationship to GIVE love, but that’s not cool anymore and now we tiptoe up to the other person with the unsaid expectation of GETTING everything we’re supposed to get to feel good about ourselves from them. This, of course is not what they signed up for.
We hand them the rocks of “Make me happy” and “Fulfill me” without ever saying it clearly that our happiness depends on how they make me feel, and then they carry the ever-heavier rocks around until they just can’t do it anymore and everything falls to pieces.
What is LOVE anyways?
You were made to GIVE love. That’s your job. Your job is not to receive it, that’s a by product that you can’t control. But I’ll warn you that if you don’t do a good job of giving you won’t even have the capacity to receive it, meaning most of the time I hear a person say “Nobody loves me” it isn’t true, they’re just not good at loving. Most of the time…
Love is not something static that you feel one time and it remains there, forever being that “high” you’re trying to achieve. That’s what addicts to SELF are pursuing.
Love GROWS. If it doesn’t grow it eventually turns into things like “I don’t love him anymore, maybe I never did”.
You did, love just didn’t mature like it should have, or you were betrayed and decided it wasn’t worth trying for again.
But the people with the best love in their relationships aren’t the ones who’ve been betrayed the least, just look around at the old couples still holding hands when they walk.
Forgiveness is huge of course, but I’d suggest that the approach to forgiveness is the piece we fail at: I must ASSUME I’m there to GIVE love to the other person.
Forgiveness says “You don’t owe me for what you did. I’m letting you off my hook. I GIVE this to you.”
It doesn’t mean trust, it doesn’t guarantee a future because relationships are a two way street, but it assumes that people are flawed but still worth the investment.
All love is to most of us is a selfish emotional high which is fleeting, but that’s what society has sold us as the best thing available and we believed it. The love 1 Corinthians 13 (Bible) talks about is not the same thing at all, in fact it sounds quite unfair but it’s based in the assumption that love is what we give.
I have complete control over what I give.
Meaning I don’t have to struggle with loving you because I decided to give it, whether you wanted me to or not, whether you deserve it or not, whether you’ll hurt me or not.
This love sets me free.
This love creates a healing cycle that makes me able to try again.
This love is simple but hard.
This love holds the other party accountable to it as well.
This love demands I act AND FEEL a certain way.
It becomes a standard my emotions are held to, and when I fail it had nothing to do with love.
Every time I hear “I don’t love him anymore” I knee-jerk react inside, because I’ve had to HATE the place my heart could go to have to say that. I’ve had more than enough reasons to say that about people, but my reaction is always the same.
I heard someone say of her husband who eventually held the family together and nursed her as well as he could through the fight she lost to cancer “I’m not attracted to him anymore”. Well, to be blunt she wasn’t exactly attractive on the hospital bed but he loved her anyways.
It’s the symptom of a heart grown cold and, in many cases unable to love.
So I DECIDED to. I decided to love if your love turns to hate. Oh, I may not hang out with you anymore, but I’m not going down the path of bitterness.
My love is up to me and yours is up to you.
Love well, then. You’ll only regret the other path.