Wednesday, September 4, 2013

On thinking "love is a burden"

It seems to be a common thought that loving someone more than they love you is a burden to them. I'm not sure why.

  • Maybe knowing you really hope for more depth of relationship is supposed to add an unconscious tinge of guilt or "owing" to their view of the situation?
  • Maybe it's because our culture often uses the word "love" for emotional states that are actually desire to posses, to control, to exhibit as one's property ... and it is naturally repulsive to be the focus of such intentions since they do not contain the gentleness, support, and respect of real love.
  • Although, I have to admit the only time I've personally felt "his love is a burden" was in middle school when a boy I looked down on decided to follow me all over school for a while, showing off in hope that I'd notice him. I was so afraid his uncoolness would make me look bad (even though I wasn't cool myself) that I never once considered that it was an honor to be liked in the first place. In the end it was my own pride that created my problem with him, not his interest. 

"How can I convince him not to think of me as a burden?"

While fighting through the above assumption, I was feeling like I really should reassure Hawk that I don't "need" him,... that I'm not desperately dependent on him for happiness,... that he doesn't need to think of my love as a burden.... Going over whether I might actually be a problem for him again and again in my mind.

Then I realized he doesn't think of me that way!  (Although, I did ask him, just to make sure.)

He clearly values my friendship and respects my honesty. So why am I worrying that he is secretly dreading every conversation, even though he calls me of his own free will? That's just the twisted thinking from my marriage experiences flaring up as unfounded worries. If he ever feels burdened, he knows he can talk to me about it, and he has proven his capacity to do so.

Besides, it's not really true that I don't need him, so why would I lie?

Ree told me, "When you say that no one person can bear the burden of healing you, I think you're right but I gotta clarify. There are certain people who do certain things for you. No one else is Hawk or me or Mica ... we engage you in different ways. So I think that 'one person' capacity is true in some ways."

She's right. (I'm privileged to have such wise friends.)

The fact that Hawk is in my life with his personality, experiences, character ... makes a huge difference. Knowing him has changed and healed me in ways that would never have happened if we hadn't met.

It's important (for me) to recognize that I need him only within the greater knowledge that this is the way healthy relationship always works.... Every friendship is important to life for what that relationship teaches, and the life experience shared and exchanged. He isn't the center of my world, but he will always be a vital element of my life story, even if he isn't around in later chapters. (Augh! I twinge when I write that.)

I do need him and he needs me as well, or our lives wouldn't have woven together even this much.

What we gift to each other just by being ourselves together IS our friendship.