Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Love In Our Words

I see people write or say things where they claim to love, yet their words say the opposite. For instance, people love to say that they "accept" the person but not their behavior. You could easily substitute the word "love" for "accept" in this case. While this statement sounds innocuous and fine to many people, it does not truly denote love and acceptance. In fact, it can be very harmful, hurtful and full of hatred.

Love is a passionate, heart felt and personal attachment to something or in this case, a person. Love is about accepting others as they are, not as we think they should be. Love is about fully uniting with that person in a way that transcends everything about them. Pure love is not judgmental and it does not force others to comply with our views of life. It is about holding the space open for someone and accepting them completely and unequivocally with nothing held in reserve.

While many of us state that we do truly love others in a pure form of love, we often fall short. While we say that we completely accept others, we often do it with thoughts in the back of our mind saying, the other person needs to be this way or that way. It is easy to mouth the words in claiming that we love others in a pure way. However, it is much more difficult to really do as we say.

In many ways, to love someone is to accept the person. To accept the person is to love them. Yes, the two words can mean different things but in many respects they are saying the same thing. The true definition may differ but the actions are basically the same.

In my view, there is either love in this world or an absence of love. If I continue on with my previous thought, there is acceptance or there is not acceptance of others in this world. While I may be coming close to an all or nothing, dark versus light explanation, that is not my intent. If you have pure love, than there cannot be an absence of love. If you have pure acceptance of others, than you cannot half way accept others or accept others with conditions. It all depends upon the degree of love or acceptance you have.

The other day, a person said that he accepted the person (we can also use the word "love" in place of "accepted") but this same person did not accept their behavior. While they thought this was perfectly fine and they were not showing any hatred whatsoever, I would not agree with them. You can not accept someone fully or love them fully but then go on to say you do not agree and accept their behavior. The two statements are at odds with each other. Yes, you can say you don't accept their behavior, but then you truly don't love or accept the person.

It is a very subtle distinction but a very important one. For when we say we love or accept the person but not the behavior, we are putting ourselves in judgment over that person and are acting in a very condescending manner. If you are going to do this, at least be honest enough with yourself and do not try to convince others that you accept or love the same person.

Being honest with others and yourself will truly move us forward as a civilization. Hiding our truth from our self will only move us into the realm of unsubstantiated opinions that we try to hold out as facts. All too often, we misconstrue our opinions as facts in life. We will be much better people if we can truly be aware and honest with ourselves. Anything less not only hurts us individually but it hurts society as a whole.

Just to say that we do not have hatred for others through what we say, is not enough. Our words can be uplifting and bring us together or they can be hurtful and full of pain, driving us apart. As humans and as a society, we need to really understand the difference.


(Above image of the song, Hope For Haditha Children from the CD, Relaxing Spa Music by Don Shetterly- (c) 08/1/06)


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