Love, Life and Other Stuff
One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can not utter. Men suffer from this sickness more so than women, and marriages seem to suffer because men and women speak different love languages. The opposing sexes just can’t seem to sync up so that their hearts sing instead of war.
So, over the years, I’ve adopted certain rules to live by in every kind of relationship. These work for me, and they’ve evolved and morphed over time.
1.) Accentuate their positives. Most people are their own worse critics and lack the perspective to see their own magnificence. Never waste an opportunity to let another person know how awesome they are and how their presence makes everyone else around them happy…better.
2.) Be your true self. Don’t become someone’s caricature of an ideal mate/friend. Show you true colors. Show you true personality. Tell the truth. Share your true beliefs.
3.)Don’t over-share. Authenticity is not the same as complaining about everything in the name of ‘being real’. A true friend/love does share weaknesses and stresses that another causes, but be careful of not polluting the well. Pick your battles and always wield a blunt sword that’s aimed at non-critical areas when critiquing another.
4.) Listen. Not with a critical ear or to see if you agree(my greatest flaw), but to gather an understanding of your lover. Get to know what makes them tick and to know their strengths and weaknesses.
5.) Embrace fully… even the thorns. If someone is worth having around then welcome them and make them feel comfortable to be their true selves. Everyone has idiosyncracies… revel in it.
6.) Every person you encounter has something to teach you. Even if it is your own personal feelings towards issues. When meeting strangers be internally mindful of your initial reactions. You’ll be surprised at how you truly feel about some people or situations.
7.) Give… but not everything. A hard lesson for me to learn was that I couldn’t save everyone from their own plights. Giving everything you have helps no one and nothing. Be free in giving, just save some for yourself.
8.) You don’t have to agree with someone to respect their positions or opinions.
We all go through life collecting advice on life and living, love and maintaining love. Things like:
- Love means treating people with kindness and gentleness.
- Loving person is believing in them.
- Loving the people in your life means celebrating their successes and cheering them on.
But I also grew up with some stories about love that I came to see weren’t so helpful. Those ideas about love bred problems in my relationships.
One of those stories was: Loving someone means always being available to them. (Not true and probably the biggest contributor to my divorce while i was enlisted in the Marine Corps.)
Another was: Loving someone means always having space for what they want to talk to you about. (People only have so much heart space that they can lease to others. Most people aren’t careful with the things they want to store or bring into a relationship.)
Another myth about love: If you love someone, you do what they are asking you to do, out of love, even if it feels difficult. (Someone who loves you would never leave you in a difficult situation.)
These are my guidelines. Make sure you develop your own.