Monday, July 29, 2013

Loving Difficult People in Difficult Times

When others are being kind, considerate and loving, it's natural to be loving in return. This is ideal, and the way that we believe that our relationships should be all the time. In our culture, we have high expectations. We expect others to love us through our difficult times, through our horrible moods, our mistakes, inconsiderate behaviors, oversights, illnesses etc. Everyone has these times, it is part of the experience of being human. You will have times like this and the people that you love will surely have times like this as well. At these times, when we deem another unlovable or when others deem us unlovable, what can we do to not only ease pain, but actually become closer through these challenges?
Are we able to be there when others are in these dark times as a loving force in their life? Not just as a physical body, but as a presence of kindness, acceptance, understanding and love? This is when and how it counts. This is when there is need for love to selflessly shine a warm, gentle light for another. When people are feeling light themselves, it's nice to add brightness to their light, but it is most needed when they are in complete darkness. Love in good times is easy, natural and ideal, but as the wonderful author of the insightful book "Mindful Loving", Henry Grayson says: "Is that really love?"
True love is not fluffy, soft, romantic or pretty. It is raw, strong, enduring, steadfast, patient, peaceful, unconditional and always giving. True love overcomes the greatest of obstacles with fearless determination. Love that is real sees past the mask and into the soul of another, even when others find them impossible to love. 
As I've previously written about in this blog post, giving love is not about making another person comfortable. It's not about making things easy for them and it isn't always about giving them what they want. If another is having a difficult time with addiction for instance, making it easy for them to get their drug of choice and making it comfortable for them to live while they get their fix, is not love. Just as it isn't love for you to give into your child when he or she throws a fit in a store. Love sees a person as they could be at their best, even when they are their worst and holds them to that standard while at the same time accepting them as they are. This challenges us as humans on every level of our being, no one said it would be easy. However, there is no greater reward than truly loving another, and true love loves at all times.

“Beneatha: Love him? There is nothing left to love.

Mama: There is always something left to love. And if you ain't learned that, you ain't learned nothing. (Looking at her) Have you cried for that boy today? I don't mean for yourself and for the family 'cause we lost the money. I mean for him: what he been through and what it done to him. Child, when do you think is the time to love somebody the most? When they done good and made things easy for everybody? Well then, you ain't through learning - because that ain't the time at all. It's when he's at his lowest and can't believe in hisself 'cause the world done whipped him so! when you starts measuring somebody, measure him right, child, measure him right. Make sure you done taken into account what hills and valleys he come through before he got to wherever he is.”
Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun 

1 comment:

  1. Love this: "Love sees a person as they could be at their best, even when they are their worst and holds them to that standard while at the same time accepting them as they are." We all want to be loved and accepted for exactly who we are and those we love so desperately need the same thing.