Thursday, February 11, 2010

What Love IS ... What Love IS NOT


I think what has helped me the most in my journey to overcome abusive relationships is:  I have learned to accept and understand what love IS and what love IS NOT.

As we all go about our daily lives, and bruise under the hands and tongues of our abusers (whether they be spouses, family and/or friends) ... I think it's important to remember what love IS.

And, perhaps in a small way, knowledge and acceptance of THAT can help all of us overcome the power our abusers may have upon us.

So, regardless of your religious beliefs, think about these few verses for a minute, and apply them to what a loving relationship is supposed to be like.

"Love suffers long, and is kind; love envies not; love vaunts not itself, is not puffed up ... Love does not behave itself unseemly; love seeks not her own; love is not easily provoked; love thinks no evil; love rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the right; love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things; love never fails..."

People in abusive relationships experience the opposite of those loving traits:

We long for someone who is patient (suffers long) and kind ... for if our loved ones were patient and kind we would not fear their words nor their actions nor their destructive imagination (thinking evil.)

We long for someone who is not jealous or boastful ... for if they were not jealous or boastful would we have the ability to be true to ourselves, and be able to maximize our potential in a safe environment, and we would no longer have the fear of humiliation within our hearts.

If love is not supposed to be arrogant and rude; insisting upon their own way; irritable or resentful; and easily provoked to anger ... then why are many "loving" households filled with these damaging traits?

Can you not see how life might be different if we were not walking on pins and needles as not to enrage our abusers?

How life might be different if we could count on a kind word rather than expecting to be torn down by rude and selfish comments?

How life might be different if dripping sarcasm is not hidden behind baiting laughs?

Might our life be better if the goal of our relationships was to mutually please each other ... rather than having to suffer at the hands (and mouth) of a selfish individual that takes every ounce of our being away from us?

How nice would it be to have a loved one who supported our dreams and desires rather than insisting upon their own way?

Control is the abuser's weapon of choice, and the methods an abuser uses to control are clearly wrong ... whether they are subtle or glaring.

And when an abuser gains the ability to control you, he/she rejoices in the fact that they have successfully accomplished THEIR goal (insisting upon their own way) ... and even if it is on a sub-conscious level and they "don't realize" what they are doing ... IT DOES NOT MAKE IT RIGHT, and it is not pleasing in God's eyes.


"Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things."

If THIS is what love is, then why do we put up with blatant manipulations from our "loved" ones?

Is it because we do sincerely LOVE them, and love is "supposed" to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things?

Is your loved one bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things and enduring all things in a loving, mature, patient, positive, and understanding manner towards you?

Why or why not?

So I have to ask:

If WE are supposed to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things and endure all things ... then is it "wrong" to stand up for yourself?

Is it wrong to set personal boundaries of what is and is not acceptable? At what point is one justifiable in saying "enough is enough" ?

Notice at the beginning of this post, I used the word "journey."

I am still on my journey ... I have not reached my destination YET ... but I am getting close to understanding more and more of what the dynamics are in abusive relationships.

And it is not good nor pleasing in God's eyes.

And that's sad.


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