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Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Are You Recognizing Love?
How do we normally recognize love? People tell us that they love us. They do lovely things for us. They make us feel good. They are kind, considerate; in short, they are loving. And you are probably thinking: I sure did not need to read this post in order to find that out!
Bear with me. You know that someone loves you, i.e., you recognize the love because what they do resonates with what you consider to be loving. However, when they don't do this, or no longer do this, then you tend to consider that they do not love you.
But in the instance of them not doing things that resonate with what you consider to be loving, could it not be that the two of you simply speak different languages of what love is? And how love is represented? And how love shows its face? Take, for instance, an adult daughter who does not hug her parents very much, nor does she express her feelings for them continually, but she is constantly bringing them dishes she cooks for their freezer, so that they no longer need to cook their own meals. Or take, as another example, a friend who is always late for appointments with you, but is, in fact, the only one of your friends you can really trust to tell you the truth about yourself. What about the husband who finds it enormously hard to publicly express any kind of affection for you, and yet is always doing all in his power to ensure your comfort and material ease?
Examples abound, and the point I particularly want to get across, is the fact that our expectations of love do not necessarily coincide with the love we receive, and yet, if we are open to it, that does not mean that we are not receiving love, simply that we must learn to recognize it in this other format.
When you learn the English word for butter, and I am German, in which case the word is Butter, I easily recognize it. But then if another person learns the word in Spanish where it is mantequilla or in French where it is buerre, it may be harder to recognize for what it is. Analogically, a similar thing happens in our differing conceptions of how to show love. So let's learn to recognize that another may show as much love as we do, but in ways that are not our ways. That does not make it less worthy, nor does it mean we are loved in a less valuable way.
How are you reognizing love in your life today?