love

30 Sep

i want very much to build up the people i care about with loving words, encouragement, and acceptance. There is so much put-down out there in the human world, and it is how you get the worst out of someone.

i want the people i care about to feel loved and important and strong and beautiful so that they can be stronger and do more and look after themselves and treat other people well.

My Best Friend, Lenny, taught me a lot about this kind of accepting love. Over the last 20 years, he and i have been in places where we didn’t build up and support one another…but as he grew up, he showed me about a kind of accepting someone’s shortcomings that was very kind. i wanted to adopt it. Instead of getting angry that someone he cares about is behaving poorly, he will accept where that person is coming from as valid (maybe the behavior is not valid, but starting at the source, we can acknowledge the hurt that has made them act out), and talk about it from that place onward. He taught me about unconditional love. He has seen me at my most despicable behavior and still loves me.  That shook me up and made me want to act better. i think because he accepts behavior as a reaction to a circumstance, rather than who someone is, it gives room for that person to change her behavior and not be defined by it. It is an encouraging acceptance.

Anyway, life goes by terribly-fast, and i would rather go over-the-top in telling people i love them then die without them really knowing it. I would rather they feel good about themselves than protect myself by not giving that love. My other best friend keeps having his friends die. Each week, practically, he calls me up to talk about another friend of 10 or 20 years who has died. Death is very real in his life. It causes me to think a lot about this…how important it is to me that he know my heart is breaking with love for him, that he inspires me, that he holds me together, and means the world to me, lest it is him or me who goes next.

I spent the first 20 years of my life tightly protecting my emotions and my heart from parents who kept breaking, it and from the world, of whom I expected no different. It made me unsupportive, unempathetic and unkind to people I still loved very much. I had to quit it. I had to risk heartbreak by being openly-loving, by forgiving all the small things instead of holding onto every personal injury as though it was meant to destroy me. It is scary because it makes me vulnerable, but at least I know I tried with a true heart.

I believe behavior can be changed and I try to change mine all the time. I examine my actions, my feelings, my reactions and my motives, and when I don’t like what I see, I work on making it change because I want to have the qualities that I admire in my own friends. I am inspired by them and want to model myself after their best attributes. Thank you for teaching me. xoxo

 

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