Sunday, June 05, 2011

Be Yourself

A friend is someone who gives you strength. A friend is someone who makes you feel better after you see them or talk to them. A friend is happy because you are happy and a friend is upset when you are upset. So why is it so hard to find a friend in this world? Why is it so hard to give and receive love?

I have been communicating with a large number of women who are in despair because they feel like they invested so much – or gave up so much – for their marriage relationship: dropped out of college, quit their job, had X amount of kids, cleaned the house, cooked the food, did the bookkeeping… You would think that the least her husband could do would be to love her back!!! Flow some love, man!

Why does the dream of love appear so unattainable, even though it is as vital to our survival as food? It seems like the harder we work to please someone, the more sacrifices we make for someone, the less they love us. We get stuck in this situation where we are trying to be with someone, while they are judging us about whether they think we are good enough to merit their affection. This type of unhealthy dynamic is not limited to marriage. It can happen at work, at school, and in our social lives.

Some people start to think that it’s not even worth trying to love anyone anymore because no one ever loves you back – even those who are way too young to give up hope. Many of us at the prime our lives waste our youth and middle age in despair. Reality check: Either try something new that you haven’t thought of before, or else just give up for now and be patient. Be yourself. “Let them come to you,” said a very wise Iranian woman on Facebook.

If someone stresses you out to the point where you are becoming overwhelmed, just stay away. If you can’t avoid them, try to dwell on other thoughts. Make them a small part of your life. You can’t let other people “get to you.” If someone is upsetting you to the point where you cannot eat or sleep or concentrate because you are so upset, this is a sign that this is not a healthy relationship.

The Prophet Mohammed (s) advised that we should go towards a situation that gives us inner peace, and stay away from a situation that creates huge fluctuations in mood. When we become emotionally attached to someone that repeatedly causes us to have great hopes, and then totally disappoints us, this is a huge emotional drain that will affect not only our mood, but our ability to provide for everyone who depends on us. If we are clinging to such a person, we will become completely debilitated and useless.

When we try our best to be what someone else needs, we become less of ourselves. Less of a person to love. Sometimes we even become resentful. Ultimately, we become less lovable. We are not being the best we can be for the sake of God.

You can only be truly loved if you are totally being yourself. You can never truly love someone else unless you look at the other person as a unique person within their own unique situation.

A lot of people have a list of criteria for their potential mate. But our neediness gets in the way of true love. This list of wants gets in the way of viewing the Other as a human being. Because guess what. There is no human being out there that was specifically created to fulfill your needs. Human beings are not commercial products or drugs you can buy in order to solve your problems. Every person has their own Path they need to walk. God gives us what we need. No single person or situation can ever do that for us.

Choosing a mate or friend is not the same as looking for an apartment. If you look at someone else as a means to need-fulfillment, they will feel exploited. Likewise, if someone came up to you and said, “This is what I need. This and this and this. Can you do it?” – you would hardly fall in love with them.

We have to be ourselves, and let other people be themselves, and observe. Does it make sense for us to spend more or less time together? Do we enhance each others’ strengths or exacerbate each others’ weaknesses?

We can never have a true friendship or find true love unless we go beyond the question of “Do you meet my needs?” On the other hand, if we are getting nothing out of a friendship or marriage other than anguish, it may be time to detach. It must be a matter of the balance of respect for each other. It takes two people making an effort to have a relationship.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

@Karin

"Why does the dream of love appear so unattainable, even though it is as vital to our survival as food? It seems like the harder we work to please someone, the more sacrifices we make for someone, the less they love us."

This is the point exactly Karin. The reason that they are not "flowing some love, man" is because they know exactly this truth. You are seeing the female end of this but it is also true of men. All men know that "flowing some love" stands a good chance of causing a drop in attraction and from there slow resentment in their lady. This is the whole "I'm bored in my marriage/I'm not in love with you anymore" thing. I know this is not always the case every time but in soooo many cases this is true. Notice how your friends are doing so much without receiving love? What if they got it? Lots of it. Would they suddenly need to "find themselves" or "eat, pray, love?" Often times ladies get upset over this situation but instead of getting upset, try and understand this.

Also, I don't know where you found these women who are like this! This is amazing that they still exist. They are a blessing. Unfortunately they suffer from the assumptions made by those wise to the scene. Don't blame the men my dear Karin, blame the "revolution."

Leonardo said...

Hi Karin,

There is an old Irish saying,

"An ounce of breeding is worth a ton of feeding"!

Have you ever read any of the late Dr Alice Miller's books on children?

The reason why there is soooo little love in the world, is because there are sooo many wounded children in the world, who grow up with a perverted script in their mind about what relationships are all about. Erin Pizzey is another woman you should Google & read her articles about abused children growing up to become abused adults.

The abuse can be emotional as well as physical, both will screw up the persons mind. If we have not known true selfless love as children, then we will be unable to give selfless love as adults.

Proverbs 31:10-31 tells of a woman who knew selfless love as a child & gave it as an adult!