In the publication of my previous article discussing “The right to be wrong”, a friend commented – “when I say be careful, I mean to stay safe because I care and I love you,” giving me the stimulus for today’s article.
Why, I wonder, do we say “be careful” to someone we love, instead of declaring “I love you!” Why do we choose to express our feelings indirectly instead of directly? Or does indirectness conceal a deeper and unseen truth?
Do we really need to warn an adult when they leave the house just to go to work? In other words, are we more interested in them than they are in themselves? Or does the “instructions manual” hide the opposite of what we think? Perhaps these instructions do not reflect the interest of the other human being, but the priority we give to ourselves. Come back safe and unhurt, not because you want to be with me, but because I want to be with you.
“What is the difference?” you might ask, ignoring that the devil is always hidden in little details. In reality – even if we do not acknowledge it – we reproduce behaviours we have experienced in our parental home. Where, in order to be loved, we had to “be careful” and avoid such behaviour that was not acceptable. “Be careful” so as to be loved! Otherwise, if you deviate, you force me to withdraw my love from you. Yet, this is not love at all. Let me remind you that the greatest crimes on the face of the earth have been committed and are still being committed in the name of love!
“I, who love you…” As if this statement alone works like an apology or an excuse for any kind of abuse.
Let us always keep in mind that love does not dominate, does not create commitments, does not need excuses, nor does it cause pain.
Love is supportive, substantial, and ever-present to the other’s needs. Love accepts others just as they are – imperfect! Love need not control or change anybody. On the contrary! Love is the oxygen of the soul, it revitalizes and nourishes.
Nevertheless, how will we manage to love anyone if we are unable to love ourselves first? To see and accept ourselves as we really are – imperfect?
In the journey of completion, the aid provided to us is the presence of other people. We like, accept, and love some of them and towards others, we develop the exact opposite feelings.
Unlike the former who reflect our good elements, the latter repels us precisely because they reflect our bad elements. Those elements that we would not like to have and which we unconsciously hide. Still, if we find the courage to “see” and then “accept” ourselves exactly as we are, then and only then, will we start to see others as they really are and not through our own distorting lenses. Only then will the process of acceptance and love begin. Because love without acceptance does not exist.
It is then and only then that our love is genuine, unconditional, free from boundaries, and based on trust, respect, devotion and forgiveness.