Wednesday, June 7, 2017

how to love difficult people

So someone asked a different question. Not so much how to deal with difficult people, but how to love them.

This is going to be a bit uncomfortable, and a bit difficult, but lets chase it... 
Let's talk for a bit about what love is and what isn't.

1. love is not attraction. It is not about how gorgeous or handsome you think someone is. Someday, we will get old and bald and fat and will not longer be attractive. Love must be more than attraction.

2. love is not dependence. It is not two broken dominoes holding each other up. Once one domino gets healed enough to stand on it's own, the loving will be over. love is more than dependence.

3. Love is not an attachment. A clinging to someone or something. It is not an insistence that we cannot live without someone.  Whole people live life, standing on their own two feet [with the grace of God.]

So what is love? I would say that love is willing someone their highest good. Wishing and acting in a way that brings them all of the good that you can. You free them to live, to be themselves. Love is to see and appreciate them for the person they are. It is not about finding someone to meet our needs. Love demands nothing. It is unconditional.

Love is larger than marriage, for you can be married to someone and not love them. Love is a deep appreciation, a kindness, an affection that seeks not to take, but to give, to honor and to free another person to live.  You can have a child that you say you love, but if all I ever do is pour guilt on that child, it is not love.  When I love the adult child, I stop insisting that they live as I would prefer that they live and I simply care about them and for them, regardless of their choices.

And so back to difficult people. Once I stop wanting something from them, they seem less difficult to me. Once I stop insisting that they behave the way that I think that they should, I am less bothered by how they behave. If I free them to live, then I am also free to live. I may spend less time with them and more time with others that I have an affinity with, but I am able to learn to love difficult people when I stop insisting that they solve my problems and I free them to live their life as they choose.

These are indeed difficult words, I see that for sure.  They are words that I write for myself as well as others. It is so easy to be needy in this life and to insist that I get this or that from others..... when I release myself from this behavior, then love rises to the top.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

1 comment:

Joanne Priester said...

Wow That's deep n wide