This is a personal reflection piece made from meditations about love. Relationships play a key role in our world. In fact, without relationships, there would be no life. Much depression and anxiety have been caused by the COVID 19 pandemic due to social distancing. The reason is simple, we want relationships to experience warmth and camaraderie. There are many types of love from familial, romantic, to friendships.
Love in the family
Familial care involves the relationship between parents and children, husband and wife, and siblings. Love within the family involves a form of control. Control may seem necessary when the children are young. They are taught by their parents the limits of what they are able to do to stay safe. Such as, not going near a fire and needing to obey teachers to maintain social cohesiveness in class. Control can also be seen in society at large, where certain groups feel that the suppression of another group can only breed wellbeing in society. Such as wanting to control how only certain groups can be married to whether women have the right to abortion. Such controls to express what we call love and safety may have been learned at home. A child could learn from an abusive parent that the way love should be expressed is to control.
Control in other relationships
Love is familiar to many of us in the realm of romantic relationships. However, control is also seen here. Where one party cares a lot more for the other party and expect reciprocity. Wanting to control comes from one party who feels he or she isn’t enough. The other party may be angry with this type of control because he or she loves themselves more.
On a less intense level, this kind of control is also seen in friendships. Where one demands the other to listen to him or to her in order to show superiority – a form of loving oneself more, or feeling inadequate and seeking love through demands. If the other party panders to the whim and control of the other, this person too feels he or she is not enough and seeks love as a victim. Again, these forms of control in love could have been learned in the family.
Caring through Anger
Expressing care through anger, fear, and irritation does not always show itself in obvious ways. If you pay attention, you may be able to see the hidden subtle insincerity of your fondness to another based on a feeling of being inadequate. This may drive our subtle want to control. Without looking deeply, we are unable to see that these many negative expressions are also manifestations of love.
However, manifestations of negative emotions to show we care for another is harmful. Harmful because negative emotions show up in the body through tensions. You could sense tightness in your chest when you are angry or impatient. You might also feel tightness in your stomach when you want to control. This could in the long run turn into a chronic disease. Our tension can also be felt by another, who also may develop negative emotions.
Show Love in a Healthy Way
We all want love and care through patience and understanding. We would like our close friends, our parents and partners to allow us to be, in order we can have the freedom to learn on our own. Of course, unless we willingly agree to learn from another, the outcome would be different.
It is inevitable and imperative that children learn with some form of control from their parents. However, if the parents themselves are not careful, and if they feel they are not enough in some ways, they could influence in their kids an unskilful way to express love.
It is not easy to be able to see oneself as one really is – we like to think of ourselves as rational and secure. But the fact is, we are irrational beings and make decisions based on emotions influenced by external situations. It took me time and courage to look within myself to see the subtle insincerity in my speech and action, even though consciously I thought I was kind and generous. I also realized I felt I was not enough through meditations and reflections. This helped me become more awake in my actions and I hope to be awake with mindfulness as often as possible that I may spread genuine love in a healthy way in my surroundings.