i would like to thank my readers for their kind responses to my blogs on love.
i wanted to share this comment from Will at Diffuse The Muse
Hi Dee. Congratulations on this original and inspiring blog. I admire the objectivity of this series of posts. Dealing with intrinsically abstract concepts is very hard to do objectively and in a way that everyone can relate to on some level. I think you’ve done a splendid job! The pivotal issue, in my opinion, is your point No. 6: Selfishness, or as I see it, egocentricity. It is pivotal because it is at the very core of our instinctive nature—so much so that most of the other points could be said to derive from this one. If we are honest about it, and were to eliminate the “I”, the “me” and the “my” out of our contextual frame of reference for love, it becomes distorted, when it should become more symmetrical. Elevating one’s ego above oneself, and to the exclusion of itself, is an awesome goal for any thinking person. Then again, I look into the eyes of child in need and it seem almost right there for the taking.
I agree that selfishness is “at the very core of our instinctive nature”. The reality is that in creation, animals have basic instincts they use as protective measures for survival. I think that humans have survival instincts as well. We do have to look out for ourselves in order to maintain healthy emotional well-being. The skill needed to do this is a healthy boundary system. This life skill is often not learned until after crisis. Therefore, we compensate the lack of skill for selfishness -believing that selfishness is what will protect us.
Quite the opposite is true.
Healthy boundaries are different than defensive walls like selfishness. Boundaries give us the opportunity to communicate our need for safe interaction. They should be based on your life values, wisdom, Truth, justice, and mine include the law. These boundaries are your safety zone, clearly defined so that another person is (or can become) aware of what lines not to cross.
When I was young and dating, one of my boundaries was that I wanted to be respected as a woman. Therefore, whistles, cat-calls and crudeness were not acceptable to me. I would not date a young man who crossed that line.
A few other boundaries that I have developed include:
1. I am a giving person but don’t expect to order me around or take advantage of my generosity.
2. Rudeness is just never appropriate. I understand firm authority but there is no need to be condescending or rude.
3. Love covers a multitude of sins…true…but don’t ask me to lie to cover up for your wrong. If you choose the action, I won’t expose you publicly but I won’t lie for you either. I won’t participate in anything illegal or against my life values.
4. We might disagree, feel angry and have conflict but that will not cause me to discard the friendship even if a little space is required for a time.
You don’t need to list the boundaries out, a gentle reminder is often enough to get things back on track, if explained lovingly.
Recently, I found myself in conflict with a friend over a business policy. My friend stated that they did not want the friendship to suffer as a result. I was able to simply reassure the person that disagreeing did not mean that we could not be friends and that I believed we could find an appropriate solution for both parties.
Boundaries are a way to protect the relationship so that the issues can be worked out. But first, you must understand yourself, what you believe and what you want.
That is why I have been sharing the wisdom given in Corinthians concerning what real love looks like. Because I believe that love has the attributes I have shared and I use this information as a boundary for my own actions.
Working within it’s boundaries provides the best results…outside of those boundaries is pain.
I can say, “I don’t believe in the law of gravity” and continue to work against it, my end result will be catastrophic if I make the wrong choice.
Sometimes, in the above mentioned confusion (concerning instinct), we think there is an option or loop hole that frees us from right behavior. Unfortunately, if we really want success, there isn’t…love is the way to make things work appropriately.
I can learn to get my point across without being unkind. I can be firm, diplomatic, and kind and acheive a better result than starting a conflict. If the other person is uncoperative, there are appropriate-wise-lawful (depending on what is required) ways to handle the situation without being ruthless, mean, and hateful.
One of my favorite examples is that of my friend in Chattanooga who lost her son to a drunken driver. The driver was wrong. My friend was in terrible emotional pain. The loss was more than anyone deserves. She followed through with the legal accountability and the driver was sent to jail. The driver was a mother and jail was a difficult consequence. Yet, throughout the process, my friend was not mean to this person. She actually, told her she forgave her, helped her through the trial and once she has finished her sentence, will work with her to get her life back on track. This approach did not save my friend’s son from death…but it has helped her heart to begin the healing process, will help salvage the driver’s life and she started a non-profit organization to help bring awareness to the consequences of drinking and driving. The impact for good will be so much more beneficial than revenge.
“Love never fails” is not just a nice quote…it is truth. It is not whimpy. It is a life skill. It is a law of the spirit and it works so much better than the alternative!
You can count on it!
I do hope you have found these posts helpful. Thank you so much for sharing your time with me!