Does love mean accepting the person as they are? If love means accepting a person for who they are, and that person just sits on the couch watching sports, drinking beer every night after dinner, instead of spending quality time with you, then where is the connection? How often have we nagged at our partners to get off that damn couch, and go for a walk with us instead? Initially, I believed love was accepting the person as they are. If that’s true, you wouldn’t be fussing over them to turn off that gawd awful TV show you can’t stand, would you? Yet, we still love them regardless of their different interests. Thus my perspective’s changed. You can still love someone, and not accept them entirely.
So, my quest to define what love means for me continued. Here’s what I came up with and jotted down in my journal:
To love someone is to support and encourage them….hmm. Not enough.
Needs more meat to the bones.
Then, I put my nose to the grindstone…
What does it mean to love someone?
- I support and align with their ambitions, goals and conscious needs.
- I align with their morals, values and friendships.
- I align with their belief system.
- I give my love unconditionally because I care for their wellbeing. Love is not based on a repayment program.
- I am comfortable and secure with myself. I can’t love someone else, unless I’m able to love myself first.
- I address and release past fears, allowing myself to be loved by others and realize I AM worthy of it. I contribute to the growth, fire and dynamic of the relationship by looking within.
- I understand and accept their mannerisms, idiosyncrasies and thought process.
- I respect their right to make their own decisions (though I may not agree with them) and I value their opinions. I respect their boundaries.
- And lastly, the BIG one, I respect them as an individual, one who is free and liberated from my subconscious needs.
The last one was the big aha moment for me. You’ve all heard the saying, if you love someone, set them free. I never really latched onto that saying because I felt it needed more. To love someone, means to allow them to retain their identity, allow them to grow as a whole being, and to support them in their journey. Loving someone in order to fill a subconscious black hole left in your life, isn’t love. That’s codependency.
Jason Lee, Author of Living with the Cat, the 9 Biggest Reasons Why Your Life Sucks!