As she stared into his deep brown eyes, she heard, “but if you really loved me, you would help this one last time.” She knows she does love him, but she also knows she can’t help. Not even one more time. He would only use the money to get drunk again. To help would be to allow more pain and damage and eventually the damage can’t be repaired.
That is the all too common struggle of the family of the alcoholic, drug addict, gambler, chronic liar, thief, betrayer, manipulator, etc. Why does loving someone sometimes mean such pain? Where is the line between toleration of others and you’ve gone too far? As a society, we accept the fact that there are certain things that are simply not okay. Child porn or abuse, murder, and rape are among them. Why is it that in every culture this is true? We all have a ‘built in’ knowledge that those things are simply so wrong that they are not to be allowed. And this is not unreasonable, is it? Look at the damage that is done by these things. It’s DEEP and ENDURING.
Where is the line between helping and caring verses ‘that’s not something I can do?’
The answer is LOVE.
Not the emotion of love which is fleeting and open to flux depending on those around us or the situation. We are talking here about the quality of Love. Qualities are those building blocks of who we are, they are not easily changed, and when we are not true to them, our inner voice is very unhappy with us.
These inner qualities have to be build on something. What? We have already talked about that ‘built in’ knowing whether something is right or wrong. But that is either strengthened or weakened by some outside forces.
Upbringing, religious belief, associations, and the like. But the most important is WHAT YOU DECIDE FOR YOURSELF. And if you decide not to chose, you will actually be allowing yourself to be moved by the waves of the world around you.
That seems to be the trend lately. We are given the impression by lots of special interest groups that we need to accept everything and everyone. It is affecting our families, our communities, and even the laws of the land. This is a bad path to start down. Why? cuz ….
THOSE WHO STAND FOR NOTHING, FALL FOR ANYTHING – ALEXANDER HAMILTON
What do you STAND for? Simply put, it’s what you decide is important in life. It isn’t always an easy choice, is it? Like the example used at the beginning of the article. How would you have responded if you watched that scene? Would you have said she was unreasonable, uncaring, hard nosed, unloving? But she wasn’t, was she? True, deep, abiding love means choosing the eternal and beneficial over the feels good right now.
The quality of love dictates that our decisions are based not on only what is best for us, and not based on what is good only for today. It is based on what is best for all and what is best long term, even indefinitely.
So this blog is to applaud all of you out there who have made the difficult choice to stand up and say, that’s not okay. Not for you, not for me, and not in the long term.
I know from personal experience that it is easier to simply go with the flow and ‘not cause waves’. And it takes A LOT of strength to stand up and not let the views, attitudes, or beliefs of someone else dictate what is truly right and wrong.
This is where LOVE comes in (the quality, not the emotion). The quality of love is what allows us the freedom to look at a situation and determine the long term effects, the multitude of factors that are involved, and to reason on what is the best thing for ALL concerned in the long run. (check out my post on “re-training your inner voice” for help with this.)
Sadly, I also know from personal experience that not everyone wants to do this. Many do not want to make these hard choices. They simply want to do what feels good at this very moment. We talked about a number of them at the beginning. And for those of us that really care about the eternal well-being of EVERYONE (or that one person that is close to us), it is painful. At times it means being isolated from those we care about, being the ‘bad guy’, feeling the brunt of anger, rage, guilt, and other mean and hurtful expressions or actions.
The goal of all of this? I know there have been times I’ve said, “What’s the point of it all”?
The goal is that with constant loving concern and steadfastness for what is wholesome and upright, that we will retain inner peace and love. And by doing that, we will be able to be one of the strong motivating forces for the positive, loving, long lasting changes that are so desperately needed.
Okay, okay……. So, you can tell that this was personal….how about for you? Are you open to sharing your story too? If so, email me @ Julia@skills4yourhealth.com
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