love – the riskiest of investments
Greetings to all from the far west of the US!
For those readers expecting part two of the government essay, you will not have long to wait. We will review it one last time, perform the appropriate editing, and then launch it within a few hours. (You can check your email in a few hours for it.)
Let’s offer these early morning (pre-breakfast) thoughts before they are forgotten, perhaps never to be retrieved.
When you love someone, there is no guarantee he or she will love you in return.
Pretty obvious, eh? Yet, worth pondering for a while. And, this statement applies to the parent – child relationship. Have you raised an ungrateful, self-absorbed child? One that returned your love with only spite? (We are not anti-child here, but the sad fact is that raising children in these terrible times is one of the most thankless tasks on the planet. Yet, we do so desperately need strong families.)
Even when you are in a long term relationship, you are at risk. (We alluded to this in our cohabitation essay. One that is still being read by visitors to the blog site. Enter that term in the search box on the blog site and you should be able to cal it up.) You make sacrifices for the other person, and that person does not reciprocate, does not in turn make sacrifices for you, does not show you much tenderness, kindness, and thoughtfulness. Or, alternatively, he or she is showing you much tenderness, kindness, and thoughtfulness, and you are not doing the same for him or her. We all like to think of ourselves as being loving people, but are we always honest with ourselves about this?
When one is a truly loving and caring person, it is in their nature to care and to think of the other person and to readily make sacrifices without thinking they are making sacrifices. Doing the kind act comes naturally (and easily) to them. One can think of this in terms of the lover and the beloved. Ideally, each person in the relationship will play both roles equally. The wife will be the beloved of her husband, but she will also be his lover, will love him. The husband will be beloved by his wife, and will also love and care for and protect her. To cultivate the relationship and make it mutually beneficial, you must put some effort into it, just as you make sure to water your house plants regularly or they will wither and die.
But, what is a person to do? When you are a lover, a loving, caring, giving person. When you (freely) give of yourself, because it is your nature to do so. Yet, your spouse, your partner, does not give back (very much), because for him or her taking comes naturally.
Some marriage and relationship counselors will say that love is the riskiest of investments. This is no trite remark. One can lose money on a business venture and be temporarily frustrated or depressed. But, one knows that the next venture may be very profitable and will make good the previous financial losses. It does not work that way with love. When we love, we open up a very special part of ourselves to the other person. We bare our heart and soul to the other person. Our most intimate, personal, vulnerable, and special part of ourselves is given to the other so to speak. If that is not appreciated, valued and respected by the other person, it hurts. We have all felt this kind of hurt at one time or another, thus we know this is true.
Yet, another sad fact is that “takers” in relationships will continue taking as long as “givers” are willing to give. We have observed this in many relationships over many years.
We do not fool ourselves into thinking the ideal can be achieved very often. One stops believing in “happily ever after” fairy tales at a fairly young age. Relationships are an ongoing struggle and challenge. They require constant effort to make them work. That is largely true because of the flawed (if not fallen) nature of human beings. But, it is better to love, to keep on loving. Do not let the hurt of past failed relationships embitter you so that you choose not to love. If you do this, you will be hurting yourself even more. When you love, when you care for others, you are more fully alive and more fully human. As well, those who can love are the more mature and have the greater character strengths. And, it is better to leave this miserable world one day as a loving human being, than as one who can no longer love. What kind of statement do you want to make with your life?
Now, I’m hungry, and am going to breakfast. I do this all free of charge. Things that make you go hmmmm.
Just the same, thanks for reading!