dimanche, septembre 25, 2005

I wrote this to someone else, but it is a good crystal of my thinking about a certain aspect of life...

In my own search for what makes me happy, I've found that the love of another person is tremendously powerful, though in the end it isn't everything. The everything is really the love a person learns to love himself or herself with. For me that is hard to do. I have learned that one's ability to be a good parent to him or herself... knowing when to be kind, nurturing, caring, disciplinary, etc. is actually a lot trickier than it seems, becuase we all overcompensate. We know our faults and aren't even sure we like who we are, so why should anyone else like us? When we see our faults even in the tiniest detail, we punish ourselves harder than we need to, because we know how bad we are. Sadly, the overcompensation obscures the truth from our view. That real parenting is compassion... and for a lot of us, we don't have compassion for ourselves. Sometimes we can have too little, too much, or just enough compasion for other people, but almost always we don't know how to be compassionate parents to ourselves.

There's a rule of thumb that people behave by unwittingly. In general, whatever love we lacked as children -discipline, nurturing, food, material things, etc.- we choose one, several, or all of those forms to exact back from those we are in relationships with... often demanding more than a hundred-fold what we lacked... as if we were accruing interest. Knowing that about ourselves and other people can sometimes be empowering. I can't vouch for anyone else, but for me, let me share with you a little bit from my own learning about life and the world.

For many people in relationships people, there is an emotional bank account where interactions are like deposits or withdrawals... even if it wasn't something you did specifically for that person it can be recorded in the emotional bank account one way or the other.

People rarely realize that everyone has their own "currency" of love. Learning to love someone as a friend, lover, parent, or child requires learning what the loved one's "currency" is -be it gifts, actions, words, follow-through, etc.- and it is a gift if someone can help you find out what his or her "currency" is, and is also a gift if the the one loving can learn to give love in the way that that person needs and wants. This is one of the most difficult aspects of relationships. It's even harder for people to learn to record it as a "deposit" when another person's means of loving, which doesn't fit his or her "currency" is provided nonetheless. for some generic "you", that is a hard task --to take in love in a manner which doesn't fit "your" "currency." That latter ability means giving people the ability to love "you" as they are able and as they can and know how to do so rather than trying to require them to go into uncharted areas where they aren't so comfortable giving and expressing love.

Anyway, that's how stuff works in my worldview... any comments?