Monday, June 18, 2012

True Love

I attended Mass today only because I knew it would make D happy. Even though he's accepted my decision to refrain from church, I know it pains him to go without me. Usually it's a complete waste of time and I spend the entire time wishing that I was anywhere else, hence the reason I stopped going. But today, I read a little passage that caught my interest. It was the prelude to the missal, about love, written by a parishioner. We're told to love one another which is beautifully simple -- just open your heart and love. But in reality it's much harder because of all the BS (I'm editorializing here). If we took a page out of Hollywood, we'd take from our partners what we need to feel good and leave after the warm feelings wear off. True love is about sticking it out. It's about giving. You give of yourself unconditionally without thinking of your own feelings. It's the beginnings of laying one's life down for another ...

Of course the passage went on to talk about the requirement to love God before you can truly love another human being, blah, blah, blah. It's the first part that really struck me. Giving. I don't give without expecting something in return. Even from my kids -- I expect compliance. I expect that they will grow up to be decent people as long as I love them and parent them as well as I can.

This idea of giving without resentment is humbling. I know someone like this. He gives because he loves his wife immensely. It's the real thing.

I don't dig deep and give all of myself. I hold back. I'm not sure why I do this. I'm not sure that I can be this giving person who expresses her love unconditionally either. But I would like to be her. Some small attitude shifts may be all that it takes. It starts with expectation. Don't expect anything in return. Giving.

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