Have you ever had one of those emotional tug-of-war episodes with people that you love dearly? You know; the kind where a desired outcome is the very reason why an argument takes place in the first place. The love is still alive between the concerned parties but the need to be understood is just so strong, it makes you feel like you are caught in a trial with no end in sight, each person hammering out personal opinions and peeling back the relationship’s hiccup history for the mere sake of providing ‘evidence’. “If only person x could see my point then I’d feel happier/beautiful/appreciated/fill in your word here______”….
The thing is when ‘if-then’ statements are applied to relationships, love ceases to be liberating. It becomes imprisoning. When your loved one becomes stifled by your presence, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and start from the basics. Why do you love that person? Is to fulfill your own personal version of happiness or to fulfill theirs?
In my opinion there is one word that summarizes the human experience best: IMPERFECT. We are not perfect beings and our words and actions, despite our best intentions, are bound to hurt someone else’s feelings and alter their core selves. That’s why people fall in love when they are at their most vulnerable (and authentic), but the love fades away after a series of condition-induced alterations. The more the ‘if-then’s’, the less the vulnerability, the less the love, etc….I hope you get the gist here. However when we stop fixating on what our loved ones should or shouldn’t do, we are offering them the greatest and most unselfish gift of all-unconditional love.
The commitment to love people despite of their human flaws not only gives them permission to flourish in being their most authentic selves, it releases you from the burden of carrying the world on your shoulders as well. When you stop controlling the actions of your loved ones, you are in turn giving yourself the permission to be the driver of your own life. You know what they say: the more you teach something, the more you master it
Next time your dear ones want to change a circumstance (career, appearance, relationship) in their life, let them. The less you care what they do, the more you allow yourself to love them unconditionally. The inner peace that comes with a sense of personal autonomy is priceless and it’s often in these ‘I don’t care’ moments that we nurture the most authentic and liberating relationships of all.