I think it’s natural for us to struggle with heartache and devotion. So many of us have these preconceived notions of what love is supposed to be. We get caught up in the glamorous bits and pieces looking for it to make us feel stupendous all the time. A quick look at how we define love and it’s easy to see why.
- an intense feeling of deep affection.
- a great interest and pleasure in something.
- a feeling of deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone.
I mean, these are great ways of conveying our concept of loving others but how many of us feel like these definitions are lacking?
When we rate our experience of love and only include the feel good aspects are we not setting ourselves up for failure?
People will naturally disappoint us from time to time and we will let others down as well. That is a simple and unavoidable fact of life. Does that mean we love a person any less upon seeing their flaws? No. Just like there are people who look past our shortcomings and love us for all that we are.
After all, in any lasting relationship the people involved will reveal the scars of past traumas and oftentimes react in old patterns of thinking. This is where love becomes an action. Love understands and pauses. Love considers the why behind the flaw and looks for a way to overcome the emotional pain in a healthy and positive way.
This isn’t doormat thinking. I’m not talking about allowing ourselves to take a beating because that person was abused. (That’s an issue for a therapist and is in no way anyone’s responsibility other than the person with the abusive nature) I’m talking about normal people who have endured hardships and speak from those broken places without a second thought. These are usually patterned responses based on psychological conditioning.
While we are in no way responsible for helping others heal we are completely responsible for our own actions. That means never throwing a person’s trauma in their face or belittling their experiences. Yes we all suffer. Yes it’s a part of the human condition. Yes we are constantly reinventing ourselves but that doesn’t mean everyone is at the same level of personal development. Some of us require longer periods of healing than others.
When a couple makes this sort of love their foundation communication comes easier. Each person involved nurtures and waters the other and they grow together. Their struggles and hardships become easier to endure because they know their feelings and flaws are accepted. They bloom together. They learn to love each other through the bullshit.
Think of the word of the apostle Paul that have been read at weddings for centuries:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
-I Corinthians 13:4-7