Love is always the stronger choice
Although it’s a little early for Valentine’s Day, love was on my mind today, and I think we could use more of it in general right now. I don’t believe that love is always the easy choice, but I certainly never think it’s a weak choice. In fact, I believe that love is always the stronger choice.
You can always chose to love someone or something. No matter how they show up. If you are unable to love someone, that has to do with your ability to love, not the love-ability of the other person. Loving someone does not require that they love you in return. I love all the huskies in the world. I don’t know what all of the huskies are doing and all of the huskies do not love me back. I still love them. This has to do with my capacity to love huskies. Some of these huskies, let’s be honest, MOST of these huskies, don’t even know that I exist. I still love them.
But what about getting your heart broken? What if someone cheats on you? What if you love someone and they don’t love you back? What if they don’t do what you want them to do? What if they disagree with you on a key issue? What if they leave?
If you love someone, you want them to be who they are, you want them to be happy and free. They don’t have to love you back in order for you to love them. In fact, they have no control over your love. You can love them whether they want you to or not. You can love them if they won’t speak to you and you can love them if they tell people you’re crazy. You can love them silently and from afar, or you can stand right next to them and tell them you love them. It’s up to you. But guess what? You get to feel love. You’re the one loving, you get to feel love instead of resentment or anger or whatever else you might have chosen otherwise.
The more you are able to love, the more love you will receive. It does take courage to love. And loving is not always easy. But it’s always right. Act from a place of love. You cannot love yourself unconditionally if you cannot love others without putting conditions on your love.
This has nothing to do with setting boundaries, of COURSE, set boundaries, that’s part of loving yourself. And speaking the truth and saying ‘no’ is often a form of love. I can love my husband and still tell him that I would rather not go and see a Dragon Ball Z movie with him. Then he gets to go with a friend (and they probably have more fun together). In another example, I can love my ex-boyfriends. I can wish them happy lives with other people and hope, truthfully and honestly, that they are doing well. This doesn’t mean I need to be in contact with them or in close relationships with them. I don’t even need to be Facebook friends with them. I don’t need to think horrible bad thoughts about them and talk about how they ruined a section of my life. I can learn from the experience that I had with them and step into some of my own power by taking responsibility for my own happiness and growth. If I run into them on the street, I can smile at them and sincerely tell them that I hope all is well. If they wanted to talk to me. If they saw me and turned the other way or ducked out of sight, I could still love them enough not to follow them and make them uncomfortable and just keep walking. Love means respecting the boundaries of others as well.
I was in a relationship once that was not good for me. I did love this person and he said that he loved me. We fought often and he blamed me, saying that he had never fought like this with anyone else. Well, neither had I. I tried to find out what I was doing, tried to take ownership in case there was a shortcoming on my part ( and yes was gas-lighted a lot) and some might say, “see, this is what happens when you love someone who is toxic!” But I posit an alternative. What if one of us had said, “Hey, I’ve never fought like this with anyone else before, you say you haven’t either, I love you, you love me, but maybe we’re not compatible in this kind of relationship.” Would it have been hard? Yes. Probably very painful. And eventually I DID leave and it was difficult and painful, but so much better for me. And I had a lot of healing to do afterward also. He didn’t want me to leave. He didn’t want the relationship to end and said he would change. But he had said that before, and things always went back to the tumult. We actually ended things very maturely and mostly amicably. We truly wished each other well as we parted ways. Was he truly toxic? Well, he may have been toxic for me, but was he setting out to be toxic? I don’t believe he was. I believe he had his own demons to work through and I hope that he has done that and is living a less cloudy life.
Just because I love all of the huskies doesn’t mean that I should, can or even want to take care of all of the huskies. It doesn’t mean that I want to live with all of the huskies and it doesn’t mean that I think all of the huskies would be better off with me than they would be with other people. That’s not love, really. That’s possession and control. Also, could you imagine the FUR.
I can love people and still carry a knife and decide not to walk down certain ally ways after dark. I can love people and still stand up for myself if I feel I am being treated poorly. I can love people and let them go. And I can love myself enough to leave sometimes as well. But the way I act and the way I feel will be different coming from a place of love rather than a place of defensiveness, judgement, anger, etc.
Everyone deserves love and no one has to earn your love. People have you earn your money or your business, not your love. If anyone has ever told you that you are unlovable, that was a reflection of their incapacity to love, not a reflection on you. You are perfectly lovable. Why does everyone love dogs so much? Because they just give love to everyone all the time.
Try to make a conscious decision to start from a place of love. See what follows.