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The struggle to love myself. The struggle to find my true potential and the struggle to say sorry when I am wrong
Love is action not always words. It took me a long time to learn this. Love is also different in my opinion when it is your child and they struggle and you want to fix it.. Yes boundaries are very important and sometimes hard to set when in the emotional moment. I also struggle with love thy neighbor when it seems totally impossible to do but have learned thru faith just to pray for that person. .
I am late here today. I so appreciate all the responses…so much wisdom and compassion shared. And I agree with all that was shared.
As always on this Prayer Tuesday, I send kindred spirit blessings to my dear friend Pilgrim. I see you have not been here today and I hope you are well? 🙏💜
Dear Diane, blessings to you on this Prayer Tuesday. Thank you for your kind words, my friend. I am well … somewhat thrown off base by some disruption in my building today.
I hope that you and your family are well, my dear friend!
There are some who are not worthy of love, because of their deeds and actions. Setting clear boundaries is a way of loving myself.
That Love can show up in so many forms – forgiveness, compassion, boundary setting and self-reflection.
Struggles between people can teach us that we can love our human brother/sisters but not necessarily their ideas or actions. Struggles teach us to separate the person from the idea/action/behavior.
A parent often knows this intuitively. Most parents have a line something like this down in raising children-“I will always love you, no matter what you do, but I may not always agree with you – or like what you do… and remember, there will always be consequences for behavior unbecoming.”
I see this idea transferable to people with whom we struggle.
This question is quite challenging for me today mainly because I have been struggling so much with somebody very close to me for so long. I believe that I understand what the issues are with our interpersonal dynamic, and I do not want to share anything too specific in a public setting to respect their privacy.
If I were to state the issue as neatly as possible, I would say that they have a tremendous insecurity (a lack of self-love, really) that causes them to feel attacked and retreat or become defensive. In the past, I have been able to do the really deep work of addressing that insecurity and making them feel safe, loved, and worthy, but it is work. Often, they have retreated so far that I can’t even identify the source of their insecurity, and attempts to understand are taken as attacks.
The defensiveness this person demonstrates leads to them saying some severe, hurtful things to me, and I believe that this is the major problem I am having in the relationship at the moment. Attempts to address this way of communicating are also taken as attacks, as is my pain.
I have lost the energy to continue investing in this relationship. As I said, it is a very close relationship, so this is quite painful for me. Anybody who is able to find lessons here is welcome to share.
Erich…I honor your courage in sharing this with us here. I hope that in putting words to “paper” about this painful and hurtful dynamic has been a source of healing in some small way. I admire so much your desire to walk with this person and your attempts to make them feel safe and loved and worthy despite how they have treated you.
Like others have posted here, I believe that boundaries are vital for our own well being and sometimes we have no other healthy choice really but to step back from the struggle.
I’m so sorry for the pain this is causing you. If you don’t mind me suggesting this, there are alternative ways to love this person. Perhaps lighting a prayer candle or reciting a loving-kindness meditation specifically for them, writing down on a piece of paper what you wish for them and then having a burning ceremony or perhaps watching your intention float down a nearby stream or river.
I wish you deep heart-peace Erich as you continue on this journey.
~Om Shanti ♥
Thank you for your wise words, Erich – we all bring our previous baggage to our relationships, don’t we? I live only with my new cat now and his 8 yrs of baggage is pretty manageable. Warm wishes to you and your ‘close’ person 🙂
hmm– I went to — struggle with myself– what are the struggles that put boundaries on my capacity to love and care for the well being of another or myself:
judgement , intolerance, the notion of not good enough, fears of not enough to go around, fear of uncertainty, controlling and addictive behaviours, resentments and blame…and more that I can’t identity yet
I would say they teach me a great deal. Patience, compassion, self-care and forgiveness. I struggle with forgiveness because I feel like I can forgive but also feel like although I have forgiven this person, I do not need to have them in my life. I feel like I can forgive but just don’t need the drama. So, my struggle is have I really forgiven them if I don’t continue a relationship with them. In my heart I feel this is ok I have forgiven and moved on.
I struggled with this question. So I read your responses first. As usual, there’s so much wisdom here.
I think for me, love has a lot to do with compassion.
From the old Websters: compassion,
“sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.”
Also, love is not necessarily reciprocal and that’s a challenge. I’m trying to be okay with just putting love out there without any expectations.
I appreciate the people that took the self-love approach to this question, I too struggle often with myself. Sometimes, I find I am the hardest to love. Thank you for the insight and beautifully written responses, I enjoy reading them.
So often we love only that which provides gratification in return, whether a person, thing or situation, where the love is essentially a form of self love, self-gratification. But loving, despite the struggle, could be a truer sign of love for something outside of ourselves.
As is often the case, my mind takes a different approach to this question. While I agree, I can learn from someone I struggle with, at some point it may be important to realize that the healthy thing to do is to take yourself out of a situation. Some people make us a better person and some don’t. We need to know the difference and chose the course that is best. This applies to the other person’s side of the relationship too. It may be the loving thing for both of us.
Rabbit, I agree with you…I also took the same approach to the question. Sometimes, you learn that you also need to love and care for yourself….as the person you struggle with- may not really understand love. As Kevin said, even though you struggle with that person…you can still love them- However; the caveat here is to also love and protect yourself….you may be a better person without the struggling relationship. A great and thoughtful question today. As an aside…I am grateful for this space.
I have learned to separate the person from the behavior; to have patience with the person and with myself. I also have found it important to maintain my own boundaries. and honor theirs. I wrote a poem in 2009 about the word,”love” because I realized that love is a decision more than it is feeling and like many others I tended to over use the word. “I loved this and I loved that!” Here’s the poem:
Love is a word in Hip Hop Oct 2009
Love is a word. We say it a lot.
misuse it, abuse it, forsake it for naught.
It’s sometimes a verb with feelings deferred.
We love this, love that, frankly absurd.
It’s often a noun, subjective in sound
objective in speech, a wailing, a screech for attention.
It can be a farce, filled with remorse,
love-feast, love-sick, love affair, divorce.
But when cupid’s dart touches my heart,
it lovingly starts a revolution of sorts.
But, true love’s illusive, inclusive and rare,
deliberate, decisive, egoistically-bare to the bone
Yes, love is a word that we need make flesh
a vulnerable stance, a powerful chance to make a difference.
Carol, once again, thank you for the poem. I really admire your writing abilities and your sense of humor. 😀
They teach me that love requires great strength, courage and patience.
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