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Friday, January 3, 2014

What is Love?

How many times do we say, "I love you" to someone. It is a phrase that is said by some several times each day. There are other people who may never say these words, yet there are people in their lives who know of that love because of how they treat them. Love is a verb. Love is not just something we say to someone love is something that we show to others. We show this love by our actions and our words.

I received a comment from someone recently regarding my last post. I knew what I wrote could be taken as harsh by some people. I was simply stating feelings. When I come on here and write I put down the words that come to my mind. I try to write things that will hopefully help others if they find themselves in a similar situation. Due to this comment I wanted to go further into my feelings regarding my last post.

Love within a family should be unconditional. I did not learn to love unconditionally until the past few years of my life. My wife, Jeanmarie, has been a great example for me as to how to do this. I know I am not an easy person to get along with. In reality, not many people are actually. Everyone has their little quirks that will upset other people. With that said, my wife and I do have disagreements. There are times I will upset her and there are times she upsets me. There have been times during the middle of a disagreement she will look at me, calm down and with all the  compassion she can muster during her anger say to me, "Yes I am mad at you, but that does not mean I do not love you. I still love you."

To me that is unconditional love. She is the type of person who if she never said those three words I would still know that she cares for me deeply. I would hope that I treat her in a manner that she would always know that I love her even if I never said those words again. However, it is still nice to tell each other of those feelings. It always feels good to have the one closest to you say those words to you. The jest of what I am saying here is that I a now learning how to love unconditionally.

Now lets address the topic of abuse. When there is abuse in a household it is normally kept inside the home. What happens in the home stays in the home. Children who suffer from abuse usually do not know that this is not normal. Whether this be physical abuse or emotional abuse these children only know this type of existence. Therefore, they do not know they should reach out for help. The abuser certainly is not going to tell anyone outside the home what they are doing to their children. Often times the abusers are survivors of abuse themselves and feel what they are doing is normal.

The point that I am trying to make is that anyone outside the home of an abusive household would have no idea that abuse is going on unless they witnessed it for themselves. I know of a family who everyone thought was very loving and normal where the husband was a strong leader in his church. His wife was highly thought of as well. The couple divorced after the husband finally got tired of his wife beating him. Everyone who knew the family was shocked to hear what this woman had been doing to her husband. You just do not know unless you have lived it.

Everyone has their own trials and difficulties in life. These hard times come in a variety of trials. These trials may come in the form of a personal loss such as the death of a loved one or the loss of a job. These trials may come due to the way someone has treated us. These trials will also come due to the consequences of our own actions and choices. We all make good and bad decisions. Often times bad choices may have consequences that can haunt us the rest of our lives. I have made choices and done things that I know have hurt others. When this happens all we can do is try to improve things in our lives, work harder to be better and hope those you have hurt can find it in their hearts to forgive.

Forgiveness is not an easy thing. The toughest person to forgive can be yourself. I am a person who is very hard on myself. I will never forget when I asked Jeanmarie's father for her hand in marriage. He knew that I had made some wrong choices in life. However, he agreed to what I asked of him. But before he gave his permission he told me there was a promise he wanted me to make to him. I expected a lecture on how I was supposed to treat his daughter. But what he said totally took me by surprise. He looked at me and said, "You have to promise me that you will forgive yourself." Those were some of the most powerful and loving words that I can remember hearing anyone say to me.

There are times that someone we have hurt is unwilling to forgive. When this happens there is not much a person can do except to keep working on being a better person. Put your best foot forward and do what you can to not make the same mistakes. If a person is unwilling to forgive you cannot hold it against that person. Just hope that someday they will find it within their power to let the past go. If and when that happens the healing can begin.

As I mentioned in my last post. Life is not easy. It is meant to be worked at. Hopefully, we will learn from our mistakes and do what we can to improve ourselves. I know I still have much to learn. I work each day to become a better person. I am nowhere near being the best that I can be. I simply hope that tomorrow I am better than I am today and that in the process of improving I do not cause pain to others.

Keep and eye on the sky!

The Prozac Pilot

Collin W. Hughes

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