I am 41 years old and still have revelations. I still have these moments where the lights turn on and I say, “Ah, I get it now!” It is refreshing and humbling at the same time, and a great example of how we never quite get to the point where we “know it all”!
So, I’d like to share with you one lesson I have recently learned – love is sometimes not enough.
Let me put this into perspective to you.
I believed to the core of my being that, if I loved someone enough, they would eventually see this love and it would change their life for the better. This love would manifest itself in kind words, kind touches, monetary assistance, physical assistance, prayer, consistency, etc. Sometimes this love would be romantically driven as well as spiritually driven, but not always. Sometimes this love would come before my own self-love, even before others I love who have less power to control their own lives. Yet, my truth remained – love harder, believe deeper, and things will change! Ignore the treatment I am receiving, which is really an indication of my own failure more than anything the other person is responsible for!
But I realized, it is NOT my responsibility to provide enough love for someone else to stop being selfish, self-centered, or downright mean! Love is NOT enough to cover the bad attitudes, harsh words, deplorable actions of others! And it’s about time that I love myself enough to say – hey, I am not taking this crap any longer!
For example, I truly believe there have been narcissists in my life; at least they manifest many of the clinical characteristics I’ve had explained to me. And related to that, I’d like to share a quote I received from a DIFFERENT friend:
“You cannot reform a narcissist. When you are the target, you must move. You would not stand in front of a rifle aimed at you, and you must not stand in front of your abuser.”
And here is a quote taken from Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert:
“Moreover, I have boundary issues. Or maybe that’s not fair to say. To have issues with boundaries, one must have boundaries in the first place, right? But I disappear into the person I love. I am the permeable membrane. If I love you, you can have everything. You can have my time, my devotion, my ass, my money, my family, my dog, my dog’s money, my dog’s time – everything. If I love you, I will carry for you all your pain, I will assume for you all your debts (in every definition of the word), I will protect you from your own insecurity, I will project upon you all sorts of good qualities that you have never actually cultivated in yourself and I will buy Christmas presents for your entire family. I will give you the sun and the rain, and if they are not available, I will give you a sun check and a rain check. I will give you all this and more, until I get so exhausted and depleted that the only way I can recover my energy is by becoming infatuated with someone else.”
Sadly, I confess to you, my regular and devoted 2.87 readers in cyberspace, that I am guilty of both items above! I haven’t moved when the gun was aimed at me, and I have depleted myself to the point of death……just long enough to start the cycle again with someone else. So, my goals and actions, whether or not they were noble and pure, SUCK! And my love for others, in this regard, was certainly not enough.
Does this mean love ends? Or that love is bad? I tell those involved that the love has ended, but I know it remains. And even as I type this, I feel the urge to pick up the pieces and start the cycle, to try to fix the world, the others, and ignore the fact that this is a huge problem I have! Yet, I commit to fighting that urge, to admit that I DESERVE TO HAVE HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS! I DESERVE TO BE TREATED WITH HONOR, RESPECT, AND CARE! MY LOVE SHOULD BE ACCEPTED NOT BECAUSE IT IS NEEDED TO MAKE ANOTHER HOSPITABLE, BUT BECAUSE LOVE IS PATIENT AND KIND! AND FINALLY, I DESERVE TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE TO THIS!
So, Love is Sometimes Not Enough. I still love you (you know who you are, and people, don’t make so many assumptions), but I will no longer allow you to treat me as you do in the name of this love! Gina is changing and I have God and my friends for their support!