I Would Like.
June 17, 2011 § Leave a Comment
The majority of the time, people bug me. I used to try to get along with most and blame myself for not getting others and vice versa. Slowly that perspective has drifted away. Fallen off my shoulders like a used coat. My upbringing encouraged me to feel pressured to attempt to get along with everyone. But what about people you just don’t like? I got guilt tripped and shamed into thinking I had to be everything to all people: friendly, open, conversational, outgoing, funny, and for godsakes virtuous in every single way.
Woo. A lot of pressure to put on a fourteen year old. And entirely unrealistic on a number of levels. I think the one that irks me the most and causes me to raise Audrey in a way that is more authentic is feeling forced to like all people equally. Love, for that matter. And never have that defined or exemplified by adults around me doling out the rules and regs.
I hate to break to you, but that’s just not how life works. And if you’re following a path that is telling you you “have to” like or love people all the same, they’ve got their definitions all askew. Liking or loving people is not the same thing as:
1. Getting them to like you
2. Spending the same amount of time with each
3. Allowing them to treat you however they want
4. Making everyone a homemade card for their Birthday
5. Feeling obligated to donate to their “cause” whatever it may be (their band, nonprofit, etc)
In fact, I don’t believe you can actually put into any format or formula or book and write down what loving others looks like. Period. Because each one of us is so wildly unique, it’s darn right near impossible to say do x, y, z and voila! Love!
One person could need space and boundaries to see your love. While another needs sweet, hand-written notes of encouragement. And another still you must employ words of continuous wisdom and lend a discerning ear. Yet never any of the above all the time and certainly not forever. Each person needs a love that is suited to fit both you and them in that exact moment in time.
There are times when I feel that I lend myself well to the love crockpot (we’ll call it) of that persons specific season and others where I feel my time has ended and I have offered what I can. Sometimes I am saddened by this loss of a mutually beneficial give and take of love from another, but I understand that it must be that: mutually beneficial.
I can think of three people specifically that I have lost the connection with for one reason or another–usually a fault of my own. And much more than that that I long to rekindle or spark the fire of love with. Rather I know that I can only be what they allow me to be in their lives and that is enough.
I apologize if it’s hard to hear that I do not believe there is a method to the madness. I’ve spent years contemplating my own ability to love and grappled with whether or not I was doing it “right.” I can tell you frankly that it stems from my ability to love myself and not knowing how to, which comes from my parents ability to raise me to feel like I had inherent value and deserved unconditional love. Knowing that, I still have issues. Issues are still present even though you know their source. Therefore you still have to work through them. More so, knowing makes it easier to wrestle with.
All this from one simple thought: I would like to love today.