I want better for you
Not from you
If you think you love someone,
or you want to know how they love you, ask:
“If my heart wanted something
you could not give me,
what would you do?”
They will say: “That depends on what it is.”
You will know their love by the courage they have to really allow the mass, not the weight of the question to displace the bath water of their shame.
You will know your love for them by not adding the weight of telling them what it is.
Love’s other name is Care.
This is what it is to fall in love: To fall in care.
Everything else is what children or fools do and confuse for love. This is why it is so often said love makes fools of us. Falling into care, does not.
Real love is when you want better for someone, but also when you want better for yourself.
The bullshit ideas we inherit about love insist that if you love someone you have to accept them as they are and not expect them to change. That is not love. At worst it can actually be neglect or enablement.
Love is growth, growth requires care. If you care for someone you want the best for them.
We also cannot force people to change nor control them. We do not own people, even our children, we are responsible for them, but they have their own journeys. How do we know then when to challenge and when to Choose?
Love in practice then, is a three-way tug of war between the courage we can find in us to ask what love looks like in any moment, the languages of love we can map between us and which we feel we can authentically inhabit, and the Other’s willingness to love and be loved the way we believe is best.
We can however, always start with ourselves, and a small change in tone, a small but earnest shift in stance changes everything: I want better for you, not from you.
Love’s other names are Care and Understanding.