What is love?

Wow, that is a big question.  I think so  many people have asked, answered it and even tried to give it but to me it remains a mystery.  I think it will take a life time of learning to embrace this enigma.

You may have heard about unconditional love.  What is that all about?  Love without conditions.  How does that work?  Surely there must be some conditions. Otherwise how will you know what it actually is.  My interpretation of love has changed over the years and in each case they all had conditions – the ones that I put around it … and ones that people tried to put around me … and succeeded.  The conditions were based upon my feeble awareness of what love is meant to be.  Socially constructed beliefs held from past experiences – even from the day I was born.  Well not that I remember.  It usually came in a story retold by a parent or relative.  I added in my imaginative colours of bias then tried it on for size.

So what were the consequences, you may ask?  How much time do you have?  I would probably say you have your own story about application, consequences and readjustments.  Mine are likely to be similar, or not.  But I digress.  Back to the love part. So, again, what is unconditional love?  For me it is about acceptance, hope, connecting, restoring, forgiving, wisdom, honesty, faithfulness and trust.  Some of the positive aspects of sharing your heart with someone can also be the ones that can hurt you.  And again, how do we share our heart?  Such a complex dichotomy.

Ok, for me to love, is for me to trust.  This is hard because I have been hurt so many times.  Not just by others but by my own silly choices.  Trust takes time and builds after several attempts to follow through on words with the appropriate action.  I know I’m not perfect so I don’t expect others to be perfect.  I do however expect mutual respect for my uniqueness and for the other person’s uniqueness to be themselves – in all their rawness.  However this is quite difficult as most of us are still on a journey to authenticity. So, we will hit some bumps on the way but hey, that are what shock absorbers are for – to ease the intensity of the potholes on the road.

I’ve just realised that I started with trust, which is that last word on my list above.  Interesting because I think I have to have this before I can accept someone.  Which, in writing that down, does not sit with me too well because we need to accept those we don’t trust.  We do not have to be best friends with them, just accept them the way they are. Mmmm, I need to think on this one a little more.  I might just finish here and ponder on acceptance and trust.  This is not really how I anticipated to finish this, but, once again, hey, this is my blog and if I want to stop here then I jolly well will.

Til next time, self-care and sunshine (a lovely goodbye someone said to me today so I am passing it on).

((hug :))

 

What is Hope?

Well my first thought about the word “hope” is that it is a positive word that links with trust, belief, desire and promise.  So if this is the positive side of “hope” what would the opposite be? The one word that immediately springs to mind is “despair”.  Instead of trying to rescue those who are struggling in life we need to stand alongside them and give them hope that the struggle they are going through is strengthening them and will be worth it in the end!

One of my most favourite analogies is the one of the butterfly in a cocoon:

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared; he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no farther.

Then the man decided to help the butterfly, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What this man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were nature’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If went through our life without any obstacles, we would be crippled. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. And we could never fly …

And the journey continues ………