Posts tagged ‘relationship’

February 2, 2008

Getting ready for Valentines Day…… going beyond romance…

by Rod Smith

“There are two potential tragedies in life and dying isn’t one of them,” wrote Ronald Rolheiser, the Catholic theologian. “What’s tragic is to go through life without loving and without expressing love and affection toward those whom we do love.”

What great thoughts to ponder and then motivate us to action beyond romance on Valentine’s Day.

Let’s not fall victim to either of the tragedies — not today, tomorrow, not forever.

One of the great things about life for most of us is that we get more than a few chances at most things, even things we fouled up in the past. Failing at love yesterday doesn’t mean we have to fail again.

While the holiday is Hallmark-driven and its history buried in 5th century Rome, it’s up to us to push love to the limits, to go beyond Valentine, beyond Hallmark, beyond Cupid, beyond Eros, red balloons and red sweaters and candy. It’s up to us to take Rolheiser’s caution to heart.

Let’s express love in tangible ways to all those whom we love.

Loving is more than breakfast in bed. Say what you want to say without leaving it to another day. Don’t wait, don’t avoid it, and don’t run from it. Act upon the love you feel in measurable ways, express it in ways that are new and unique for you.

Love your family by encouraging the expression of the unique voice of every person. Enlarge their freedom, oust all jealousy.

Listen, and wait to speak. Try to hear even the things you’d rather not hear. Learn things about members of your family even if it has been so long that it is hard to remember a time when you did not share life.

Loving people celebrate strength, encourage freedom and admire the talent of others.

Then, in loving and being loved, compromise yourself, your talents and skills for no one.

True love will never steal your voice, your brain, your heart or your body.

Minimizing who you are in the name of love will not make you more lovable or make your family a happier or healthier place. It is never worth it. It is never loving. It is those with dark motives, who seek for you to be less, minimized, diminished or silenced. Reject such small-mindedness, such evil, even if doing so is very costly.

In your loving, deal a deadly blow to love’s bitter enemies of resentment, anger and bitterness. These close cousins, if permitted, will hold hands within your psychology and dance a woeful dance. They will make you blind to all things beautiful. Angry, bitter and resentful people, no matter what their justification, become increasingly unreasonable and difficult to live with.

Bitterness will have a soul for breakfast. It’ll chew you up, spit you out, and then get you some more. That’s its nature. It has no regard for you, except in your destruction.

Make the most powerful decision a person can make and forgive everyone, everything. Forgiving others completely for everything real or imagined done against you, will give you a degree of personal liberation heretofore unknown. Such forgiveness, offered from and within our human frailty, releases the spirit beyond comprehension.

When people forgive each other, they wear divine clothing, and the prison doors of their own hearts become unlocked and the miserable trio of anger, bitterness and resentment are set free to do their work elsewhere.

“There are two potential tragedies in life,” wrote Rolheiser, and today we each decide the extent of their power in each of our lives. Happy Valentine’s Day.

December 26, 2007

He needs sex to maintain any kind of decent mood…

by Rod Smith

“I love my husband but he is sending me into an abyss. He’s become more and more jealous, insecure, and needy. He requires sex to maintain any sort of decent mood. I pay the emotional price if I don’t have sex every two or three days. He never admits to being controlling and I don’t think he believes he is. I have lost most of my sex drive. I am constantly fearful of crossing his moods. He says his mood cannot improve without sex. I feel it’s abusive to submit to something sexual when I am feeling hurt, sad, and exhausted. Are we in a catch-22? Is it unusual to have one’s libido destroyed by a requirement to provide sex?” (Edited)

Until you, not your husband, govern your internal (emotional, sexual, spiritual) life, things won’t improve. Control and love cannot co-exist within the same relationship.

Your husband’s belief that he needs sex (from you), more than you need kindness (from him), demonstrates his distorted, immature understanding of sex. It is this very misunderstanding which reduces sex into something cruel, divorcing the act from anything resembling love.

Of course your libido is diminished: you’re in an abusive cycle that won’t improve until you find and use your voice. I don’t doubt you THINK you love him (you believe you love him and cannot, at this point, conceive of NOT loving him) – but can you love him enough to stand up to him? His controlling behavior (and your submission to it) does neither of you any good.

December 26, 2007

Try (also) liking the people you love….

by Rod Smith

Sometimes liking (enjoying, being pleased to see) someone is even more powerful than loving someone. I’ve met a few men and women who, in trying to sound magnanimous or even holy who have declared: “I really love my son (or my husband, daughter, in-laws, pastor) but I just don’t like him (her, them) right now.”

Great! Thanks. What does one do when one is on the receiving end of such a “compliment”?

If you do not like a particular person whom you also confess to love, I’d suggest you have some homework to complete.

What is it about you that you cannot reconcile these two distinctly different responses (love and dislike) within you, when it comes to the very same person?

Of course, I understand that people whom we love can and will do some detestable things and sometimes must be censured for their objectionable behavior. But is confessed dislike the helpful response?

My challenge is, and I direct it as much to myself as I do to readers: work on yourself to the place where you like and also love the very same people.