Michelle: Why do we hurt the ones we love?
Why is it easier for some of us to treat acquaintances or strangers even better than we treat those we claim to love—our families, our children, spouses or our friends? Is it because we know that they will understand us?
Because they will forbear, forgive and forget the things that we do to them? I ask all these questions because it seems to me that it is easier to like or act that we like those we do not even love. But for those who are near and dear to our hearts, we sometimes take them for granted and treat them like we don’t even want anything to do with them. There are many people who are alienated from their parents, siblings, spouses, children but maintain good relations with their officemates, neighbors or casual friends.
DJ: An intense relationship is superficial. It’s like a snapshot of the moment. A profound one, on the other hand, has a lingering influence. It changes someone for the better. Being relaxed because of a deep trust for a person is different from assuming that there’s no longer a need to fan the flames and keep the fire burning. Because relationships do require some amount of work to keep things going.
M: I learned from Harold Sala’s Raising Godly Kids that we often feel that family members don’t count when it comes to demonstrating and showing love-Christian love and commitment. Why do we feel that we can speak to each other at home in a tone that would cause our neighbors to punch our noses? Love is a big word and people sometimes give it complicated definitions or express it through perplexing manifestations like jumping off a cliff to prove one’s love. I think love is best defined or expressed simply by little acts of kindness and thoughtfulness.
DJ: There was a story of Angel who was like a light and cheer to whomever she met. She was not what people see as someone pretty. One day, she befriended Ken who she eventually taught to read, write and become better. But he was in love with Kate who had eyes as blue as the ocean and hair that’s like a halo of light around her. Angel helped him say the right words and buy the right gifts. He won Kate’s heart but somehow they could just not get things right. Years passed before Ken noticed how Angel’s laughter sounded heavenly and saw how her smile could brighten even the darkest days. He wanted to tell her how wonderful a person she was.
But Angel went into a coma and soon passed away. He held her hand; he stroked her hair and wept for who he knew by then as the most beautiful girl in the world. But it was too late.
M: Harold Sala wrote that love is an unconditional commitment to an imperfect individual to meet his or her needs even if it requires personal sacrifice. If we don’t love ourselves, we can end up hating those we claim to love and those who love us.
We have to learn to manage our emotions and live a balanced life. But if we believe that those closest to us deserve better than how we are treating them, we have to sacrifice.
DJ: Let’s value and appreciate them while we still can. We’ve always been told to be brave and to take chances. But taking the people we love and who love us for granted is a risk we should never take.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on August 20, 2017.
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