When You Learn To Love…

Through this season of disenchantment and disillusionment I have a few things to say to those persons still misusing this beautiful emotion.

When you learn that love is not a game…it’s not for your entertainment or amusement. It’s not an emotion to be toyed with. It is a powerful force that deserves to be respected and revered. It is not something to distract yourself with when you are bored and then pack away and forget when you’ve had your fun. It is not a part time, sometime, every once in a while thing. It is an every day, intentional commitment that is made and is to be kept. It is work. It is effort. It is dedication. It is waking up every single day and choosing to put someone else’s happiness, well-being and life on par with yours. It is respect and deference and compromise. It is knowing what the other person expects, needs and wants and doing as much as you can to fulfill it.

When you learn that love is not a competition…and you stop keeping score. It is not about who has done this and who has not done that. It is not about who has done more today or overall. It is not about who loves whom more. Or who is more honest or more even-tempered or more any-damn-thing. It is about two people being just enough for each other. It’s looking at someone and seeing the good, the bad and the indifferent as one complete package that suits you and having that feeling be mutual.

When you learn that love is not a power trip…and you stop trying to establish control over your partner. It is not a business. Your partner is not your subordinate. You are not there to harangue or browbeat or manage or govern. It is not about dependence or desperation or control. You are there to give and receive. You are there to help and be helped. You are there to support and be supported. You are there to love and be loved. It’s not about who can do more or be more or evoke the most emotion or get the most out of the other person. Do not be condescending or domineering (not be confused with dominant). You are not your partner’s boss. You are colleagues in life and in love with work and responsibility and emotion shared equitably. Love is not 50/50, but your partner is your equal. Love is 100/100. It is not two halves that need each other in order to be whole; it is about two wholes that come together to become something amazing that transcends the ordinary.

When you learn that love is not a battlefield…no one has to lose. It’s OK to disagree, have differences of opinion, have different beliefs. These differences do not need to be cause of conflict. Your partner does not have to agree with everything you say. You are two separate beings with your own experiences, idiosyncrasies and personalities. But those differences don’t have to start wars, they can shift paradigms. Those differences can give depth and breadth and scope to your union. They can provide you with alternate possibilities, new options to explore, new perspectives.

When you learn that love is not a weakness…you will love without fear, without shame, without conditions. Love makes us vulnerable. It exposes us to the possibility of hurt, disappointment and rejection. To love someone requires courage. To express your love, openly and freely, knowing that the feeling may not be mutual, knowing that the other person’s feelings may one day change or even fearing that the other person’s feelings may not be genuine, is an act of immense bravery. To declare your love and live it everyday takes heart and spine and faith and can make you a stronger person regardless of the outcome.

When you learn to put a leash on your ego. When you learn to lead with kindness. When you learn that respect is earned through gentleness, consistency and fairness. When you learn that trust is earned through reliability, honesty and open communication. When you learn that your partner doesn’t have to be weak in order for you to be strong… When you learn to love, join me on this side of life…

2 thoughts on “When You Learn To Love…

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