Loving and caring for a loved one means giving of and sharing ourselves unconditionally. Most of the times we gladly do it because we enjoy it, but love requires us to also do it when times are hard and we are being challenged out of our wits. Yes, sometimes we are called to stand in the blazing fires of their stories, their pain, their unfairness towards us in the midst of their drama playing out… can we stand in their fire with presence, calm and love them even more fiercely? Can we put aside the fears, judgements and ego’s call for retribution for the pain they caused us and remain centered in our love and consciousness?
It’s easy to fall for the wiles of the ego that tells us caring for them means to give them „tough love“ and yes, it’s important to assert boundaries to protect ourselves from undue harm and continuous disregard for our feelings and rights. Yet being harsh, self-righteous and insensitive with someone’s feelings and rights in return for equal actions is plain childish behavior we need to leave behind in our process of maturing.
It’s easy to fall into patronizing, denigrating and contemptuous tones and behaviors but true mastery of love demands a different kind of strength. The strength to abstain from saying the things that disempower and reduce the other and to keep ourselves firmly focused on finding solutions that embrace the validity of differing views, realities, feelings and dynamics while creating outcomes that are a win for all involved.
Let us discard beliefs that sugarcoat and reframe unloving actions and words as being acceptable because our motivation was loving and caring. Let’s invest ourselves in lovingly listening, co-operating and co-creating understanding, common ground and solutions which honor and respect everyone – no matter what the circumstances are! Let us learn to be respectful of everyone’s humanity and respond to their behavior from consciousness and love. Because remember, if we deny one, we deny everyone’s human rights.
We are in this together and the fastest way we are getting out of this is: together!
Photograph: Tokyo, Japan, 1964 by Michael Rougier