On love and what love is not and what we turn love into if we don’t analyze the issue!

March 12, 2013

Today this issue came up, and I don’t know how come! Anyway!

I have some advice for adults who are in charge of bringing up children, siblings, in a home. I would like to tell them — Please, don’t tell these children that their siblings are Family, meaning that they should love each other because they’ll be the only true and everlasting support they get from human beings. When you do this, you are turning a very human trait, that of love, into an obligation, and this is not positive for the relationship. The truth is that we humans get support from very many and different people throughout our lives, people like friends, but also from people we are not attached to emotionally. And the truth is Family relationships are oftentimes full of hurt. I can imagine this — if we didn’t tell children this kind of horrible things, siblings would possibly develop naturally a love of supporting each other, mutual love, or not, but the story would be about that, not about hurting each other. There is nothing as disempowering and damaging as fighting with someone you love.

I believe this is also a good piece of advice for people who fall in love and want to share their lives. Love should not be turned into obligation. This kills love! Love is not about sacrifice: when we love someone and we’re free to love, supporting this person, doing something altruist for this person should just be about this, about love, and not about selflessness and sacrifice. Actually, when we love and we’re free to love, say I’m sleepy but my partner needs some help, I might prefer to stay awake to help, just out of love. I may also simply go to sleep. Both things are possible and they do not say much about my love for that person. There’s no possible fight here, in free love. The person who needs help will understand the other falls asleep, in the same way that the person who manages to stay awake to help the other will do so because of love.

Life is simpler when we do not chain love to obligation, and it allows for much healthier relationships. At least, this is what I’ve come to believe after a life full of love towards many different people (friends, acquaintances, teachers, colleagues, people you meet when you travel…) but also including frustrated love in the Family. If I had children (something I have never wanted to do, in spite of having a womb! — and I’m not saying this with sadness, I’m just stating a fact in the very novel context of a feminist-developing society where women are starting not to be seen as containers, but as human beings with a mind, who may or may not wish to have children!), I would certainly avoid saying “Love your Family, they will always be there!”

Loving your family is a likely outcome when you share part of your life with them provided they are not at war and it actually happens. If you love them, it’s because we humans grow fond of people we share life with. And there is more: like other animals, we are capable of altruism. On the other hand, not loving your Family may happen for many different reasons, and not just because you are a psychopath! If you don’t love your family, or if you do but it hurts too much to be around them, don’t feel bad, just move away if it hurts or you feel suffocated, or simply try to get along nicely, meaning with nice constructive politeness which does not mean being hypocritical, but simply learning to live together!

One comment

  1. […] really improve our way of viewing and performing discussions! In the same way we should learn to stop connecting love to obligation, for the latter degrades and distorts […]

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