Love & Sacrifice Misunderstood
May 16, 2008
~love just is~
Unless you are a therapist, a spiritualist or someone who has completely understood the way this world revolves, there is a good chance you believe that you have understood ‘love’ but lack ways to easily articulate it. I don’t mean to down play you in any way but I wrote this especially to empower you with thoughts that have been around for generations and ways to explain what love truly is.
Many of us have associated ourselves with love but ever since our teen years we have misunderstood being ‘in love’ with the actual ‘true love’. We can recognize this when we tell our boy-friends or girl-friends that we’re ‘in love’ with them and when they are not around, we get upset; on occasions when they are with others, we compete for attention; and when they do something different from what we like, it troubles us. We even quantify love by saying ‘I love you more than you love me’. While this seems very cute in its own way, there is a big difference between what we express in the relationship and what love really is.
~the real difference~
We have not understood ‘love’ the way it really is but have experienced something called ‘in love’. ‘In Love’ is to receive love from the other person and is a dependence based relationship. In this relationship, we are attached to our own happiness but this happy feeling comes from another person’s presence. This is more obvious when they are not around us. We miss them and feel low. In truth we only miss them for the love that they give to us. By being dependent or attached in a relationship this way, we are setting ourselves up for pain. We resist any attempt to remove this dependence or attachment and we know how hurtful it is when we don’t get what we want from them (its an addiction). We innocently forget about what makes them happy and sometimes we act possessive taking away the space they need. Barely do we realize that these problems are within ourselves first; that we are deficit in some way and that their presence seems to complete us. These people that we depend on for happiness could be anyone, a boy or girlfriend, a best friend or even a role model. But while this may sound wrong or terrible, it really is not. In the real sense of the word, this is a stepping stone to understand how to be emotionally independent and how to truly love. Everyone walks this path.
When we truly love someone, we only give love, not expect to receive any. We accept the person for who he or she is. This is the same as the unconditional love we talk about between a mother and her child. There is never a reason; we just love. When the time and person is right, we feel it deep within ourselves and nothing known physically to us can ever explain it. True love or unconditional love is unconditional acceptance of a person no matter what their actions dictate; but it does not mean unconditional acceptance of their actions; just the person. Please don’t read only into that line, there is more. We know that people change and their actions evolve over time. We have faith in them because we see in them a ‘them’ that they themselves cannot see. It’s just a matter of time before they figure themselves out through the many good and bad things they do; and trust me, they will consciously do almost every thing that today’s society or you considers bad. However, Love, in a relationship, is accepting them for who they are while expecting them to be the best they can be for themselves; not for you. Loving them is never about you; its about them. When they want you to let go, let them go, let them grow; your part is done. If you are looking for someone to love you, just remember the quote by Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world” & like will attract like. When you learn to love unconditionally, only then you will easily attract another who will love you unconditionally.
~what love isn’t!~
Love isn’t detachment or attachment but a fine balance between the two and knowing when to do either. Love never has reasons; but reasons have love. Love isn’t dependence but freedom to grow. Love isn’t denial but acceptance of self and self emotions. Even hate is love; its someone who’s upset because they didn’t get the love they needed; they are just asking to be loved. Even Jealousy is love, someone wanting the source of love and happiness that you have.
However, due to haste, desperation or just bad sources of information, we remain confused and continue creating reasons for why we should love. Magazines, surveys or compatibility ads are main sources of our wealth of toxic information. Loving someone for a reason is not true love for the other person. Reasons are conditions which when satisfied makes us happy. It just shows that we are in love with that reason and not the person. When we love the reason or that condition, we indicate that we are loving ourselves instead and are trying to make ‘ourselves’ happy; not them. This is the same as making use of them to make us happy; but the reality is that we need to fill our own voids first before we can truly love someone else for who they are. It’s even more scary when we choose to love for a reason and then over time those reasons vanish; and we’d find ourselves hating that same very person. We know this when we use words like, ‘I loved the old you better’. But this is not the end of it all; it’s just one of those jump starts we need.
~how do I learn to truly love someone?~
It’s easier said than done. Learn to love yourself first without going outside for love. When you truly love yourself will you be able to truly love others. There are so many articles on-line that teach us to truly love ourselves. Here are two articles worth reading and two tracks worth listening to.
and finally India Arie with her track “Video” (You Tube)
and Whitney Houston with “The Greatest Love of All”
They all say one thing. We need to first accept ourselves for the way we are with all the flaws we have. No one is perfect, no one will ever be. Everyone starts from the bottom of the ladder to get to the top with respect to accepting themselves the way they are. Financially rich people face the same problems we do. Underneath all that perfection is always imperfection; behind all the glitz is misery that even money won’t solve. We all walk the same path and help is always there. The best part is that you don’t have to make any sacrifices in loving your self.
~on unconditional love and divorce in non violent relationships~
When we finally learn to love unconditionally, we are much more comfortable in our relationships and we easily accept our other halves as people who are struggling to understand themselves. When a need for a divorce occurs, it would be from their side as they battle to search for their source of true love. True love starts within ourselves and at home; but if a divorce helps, do what it takes to help yourself.
~What is sacrifice? Is it associated with giving up?~
Sacrifice truly means ‘to make sacred’. By giving up something you really want, you are instead only hurting yourself; you are not making any relationship sacred! Even though you may give something up for someone, it is not sacrifice unless you are truly happy inside and without resentment. Anything short of this is truly superficial. Its only after you learn how to truly love yourself, making sacrifices becomes so much easier and accurate to its definition. Let me explain.
Sacrifice is never about giving up happiness but gaining even more happiness for yourself by making others happy. When you unconditionally love others, seeing them happy is what truly makes you happy. If they find happiness in what you have and you truly love them, giving it to them is really easy when you know that your happiness comes from within you and no where else. Sacrifices becomes very simple and no different than a side effect of true love. Sacrifice always originates from self when self is ready and should never be imposed or expected of you.
~when should I not sacrifice?~
When you don’t want to!
The act of sacrifice has been glorified but it has lost its meaning over time and lately associated with giving up for a long term benefit. But there is never any long term benefit gained from performing it in guilt, greed or force. In most cases, follow your instinct; in some where it is confusing, its best to wait and let the passage of time convince you. Do whatever it takes to balance between keeping yourself happy and doing things to keep others happy. Wisdom doesn’t necessarily come from the elders; but in some cases guilt surely does; don’t let them ever guilt you or force you. Draw your boundaries and follow your heart. And for those who prefer to be associated with ‘logic’; follow your mind!
Love is to accept unconditionally!
I love you = I accept you unconditionally!
It is a choice.
I am in love with you = Will you accept me unconditionally?
P.S. “I love you” is “I love you to make you happy” and not “I love you to make me happy”;
tag: Love and Sacrifice Misunderstood
Filed in How to Love Unconditionally!, Soul Searching
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