These days, I see "I love you but" statements and I cringe. Most of the time no one realizes they are using them. Many are so numb and disconnected that it becomes normal every day talk from one person to another.
In many ways, the "I love you but" statement comes when you don't agree with someone else. In a way, I see it as passive aggressive. It is like saying either get in line with my way of thinking, or just know that there is something wrong with you. Sure, we don't come out and say that, but this statement strongly implies it.
Often I've heard the statement "I love you but" being used to bring a child in line and get them to act a certain way. This is one of the main ways I heard this used growing up. It doesn't matter if the behavior is wrong, it is there when someone feels it is their responsibility to control another.
In churches, it is common to say, "we love the sinner but hate the sin" and to me, this is just another iteration of the "I love you but" statement. You can't hate what makes up a person and still fully love them at the same time. You can disagree but you either love the person unconditionally or you don't.
People need others that love them without conditions because when they know they are accepted, it is then they can flourish. When they are being controlled and manipulated and trampled upon, it is then that they wilt and die.
Too often we think we know what is best for others, yet we have not walked in their shoes. We think that they have to subscribe to our thoughts or we cannot love them completely. Love does not place limits on anything. Love is freely available and given in its purest form.
There is just far too much judgment in this world, and to only dole out love when it is convenient for you is not only disrespectful to the other person, but to yourself. If you only love people when they meet certain conditions, I can almost bet that they will show you what they want you to see, not who they really are.
Let's try having unconditional love for one another. Let's not just make grandiose gestures that we do. Let's not just go out and scream it to the world that we love one another. Instead, may our words and actions align together and may those around us, innately know that they are loved. May they know that it is more than mere words stated that are cloaked in judgment.
And if we can't even bring ourselves to unconditional love for another, let's at least try to show some respect.
Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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