“Love is saying, ‘I feel differently’ instead of ‘you’re wrong.’” ~ Unknown

We live in a culture where we think love should be easy.  That if it’s not working, then leave and find another.   But love isn’t easy and we can’t learn from easy anyway.

Here’s the problem – we think love is about being loved by someone when actually real love is about being loving.  Know what I mean?

We get tripped up because we can’t be loving when we have the 4 C’s in our starting line-up (needing to be Correct, needing to Criticize, needing to Control or wanting someone to Change). They don’t belong in any relationship.

I met someone this week who told me that his definition of love is being understanding, seeing, hearing and accepting of what his wife wants and needs.  He never wants to be “right.”  It only hurts her and if she’s hurting, even being “right” doesn’t feel good.  He also reminded me that loving is not about sacrificing, tolerating, or suffering in silence – because those traits aren’t about being loving – they’re about being a martyr.  Being loving and being true to yourself are a perfect match together!

Loving is difficult because we often put our s*** on someone else and then complain when they don’t meet our “needs.”  I heard from someone this week who told me he was disappointed in the way I treated him.  I immediately noticed how it felt to have someone project their values on me. I had to stop for a moment before responding.  And when I did, I simply said, “We have a choice – to be disappointed in others because of some (unrealistic) expectation we set that they can’t meet. Or to just know that where they are is the best they can do at that moment.”  It’s judgment v. non-judgment.

Love is about wanting others to be happy without it needing it to be about you. Love is when you’re not dependent on someone else for your happiness and they’re not dependent on you for theirs.

You can’t love when you’re lonely.  That’s just filling a need.  And you certainly can’t have love with any of the 4 C’s.

Plus, I’m thinking that true love is not totally natural.  Yes, we have a natural love for our children, but there too we have to work at not being corrective, controlling or trying to change who they are.

Look, if being truly loving were so easy, then everyone would be doing it and we wouldn’t be screwing things up so badly in our personal relationships and as a society.  With me?

I’m still learning about love.  I know what it’s not and now I’m learning what it is.  I’m learning I can be loving and also true to myself.  Because, my friends, if we’re not true to our needs – the 4 C’s will ask for the best position in the starting line-up.  And frankly, I’d prefer to be my own quarterback. 🙂