Jagger had it right when he sang,
“Love, it’s a bitch”.
Sure, it makes the world go around
and can make your heart go pitter, patter, but love can also break
your heart and cause a lot of pain. How can we maintain a loving
heart in a world filled with so much hateful behavior? At times it’s
hard to love our fellow man. But, it’s not all bad. If you look
deep inside, there is a light that shines. It’s a spark, that part
of you that comes from God. And it keeps burning no matter what.
This week, your Guy’s Guy is taking
on love, with all the hurt and happiness that accompanies it. This
one’s is not about my novel, The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Love
per se, but it runs along a parallel path by exploring the
different kinds of love we experience—romantic,
friendship, family love, and the love of humanity and all its flaws.
Hopefully, we’ll come to the same conclusion; ultimately love is
all we have, and we need to do everything we can to express it every
take a look at the various forms of love, to see if we can find
common ground, and ways to understand how we can keep our love alive.
Family - The old saying states that you can’t choose your family.
But I’ve also read in spiritual texts that before incarnating we
choose our parents and family based on lessons we need to learn.
more sense to me, because human ascension requires certain
experiences for growth. I’m sure many people would welcome the
opportunity to choose their families again because not every familial
situation brings joy. Throughout history, family members have done
horrible things to their relatives. Not all, but some. That’s just
how it goes. And I think you’d agree that at times, everyone’s
family seems like it’s totally screwed up. But however we became
connected to our families, we’re here now and in it together, so we
need to find ways to make the best of it. I’ve learned this the
family is like mine. I like speaking my mind, and for years I assumed
you could talk to your family honestly about anything. But I was
wrong. My family is made up of good, well-intended people. The
problem is, they don’t get me—at all. Compounding the issue, my
brood doesn’t share its feelings. Over the years, this has created
frustration and occasional outbursts. Over time, I reluctantly
decided to shut up and look elsewhere for understanding, validation,
and honesty. At family functions I bite my tongue (for the most part)
and I’ve learned that it’s better to simply love them than try to
get them to understand me. There wasn’t one incident that switched
on the light. It took time, lots of time, to understand that although
these nice people are my family, it doesn’t mean that they think
the same way I do or live their lives the way I do. And, it’s okay.
I’ll love them unconditionally regardless. In my heart I thank them
for their love and the lessons they are teaching me. I love them.
2. Friends – What’s the old
saying? Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. At times,
they can feel like one and the same.
I’ve done my very best to maintain
long-term friendships, and as you know, that’s not always easy.
Some people change and evolve, and others travel a different path.
But that’s okay. If my friends and I remain on the same page with
how we relate, laugh, and treat others, we’re good. But of course,
that’s not always the case. Everyone relates to their friends
differently. Some never initiate a call, but they are always there if
you come up with an idea. There can be misunderstandings, and for
some, it’s easier to talk behind a friend’s back than engage in
an honest conversation about a point of contention.
I have a friend of over thirty years
who for some reason did not respond to my wedding invitation.
Ironically, I had been his best man. Eventually I called him two days
before the wedding. When I asked if he was attending, he danced and
dodged about things that were going on in his life. He couldn't bring
himself to just say “no”. Instead he said, “I might stop by.”
WTF? Initially I was understandably irked and cut him out of my life.
But over time, he began reaching out and acting very cordial and
differential to me. Still no mention of the wedding. I finally got
together with him this summer when he arranged a road trip and bought
concert tickets for our old crew. I showed up and had a nice time.
Still no mention of my wedding. I had to make a decision. We’d been
friends for decades, but it just wasn’t in him to deal with that
issue. Like me, he is a flawed individual, although we do things
differently. So, although I don’t go out of my way to see him
anymore, I let the ”issue” pass. In my heart, I love him as a
person, and for the good times we shared. I’ve moved on. That’s
all there is.
You have to make smart choices about
friends and which ones are worth keeping. You’re not going to
change them, so you either accept them as they are or move on.
Sometimes, the choices are tough, but if you use your heart as a
guide you’ll make the right decisions. And, you can still love them
for the times you shared.
3. Romance – Love hurts. No
matter how you look at it, we’ve all felt the pain of a broken
The good news is that relationships are
great teachers. The practice of opening our hearts is a great
practice. I have loved and lost, loved and lusted, and simply loved.
I most enjoy loving and lusting. The biggest challenge for most
people when it comes to love is letting go. In retrospect, every time
I got dumped turned into ultimate good fortune. I managed to avoid
marriage until a few years ago, and I am glad I did.
My last long-term girlfriend dumped me.
I suspect she was cheating on me with a colleague. She didn’t cop
to it, but all the signs were there. They took unnecessary business
trips together and then he and his wife, at the time, took us to a
concert, and it felt weird. When the end came, I was at initially
devastated. My heart did not want to let go. But, it was time, so I
shed a tear or two and moved on. They got married and I dated like
crazy before finally meeting my wife. Now I’m beyond grateful that
all of this happened. I had my fun, got away from an unfulfilling
relationship, and met the right person for me.
Looking back on all of my
relationships, I can honestly say that at the time I loved all of
these women and regardless of the dirty details of the break-ups, I
harbor no negative feelings for them. In fact I love them as people
and hope they are happy. We had our good times and I am grateful.
It’s so much easier this way. After all, who wants to be in a
relationship with someone who does not share the same feelings toward
them? It’s easier to simply love.
4 . The Human Race – People do
screwed-up, crazy, mean shit to each other every day.
upsets me, especially the little stuff, because it is so unnecessary.
Here's an example: I hire a plumber to replace my water heater. They
do the job, but while at my place, promise to come back a replace a
cartridge in my leaky faucet. Since he did not have one on the truck,
the guy who did the work said he would come back in a few days, give
me the plastic cartridge for free and charge me 15 minutes time to
fix it. I’ve been calling the main office on a daily basis for over
a week now to get this done. Unfortunately, I’m forced to deal with
the same repressed, passive-aggressive person who always answers the
phone. She keeps finding reasons for why the work has not been
scheduled yet. “I told my boss”. ”He doesn’t come in to the
office much”. “I gave her the message”. “We’re very busy
right now”. She’s got a new excuse every time I call. And she
never calls me back. It’s obvious that she has no interest in
helping me. In fact, in her own strange way she’s getting off on
exerting her minuscule bit of power in life by preventing me from
having my faucet repaired. What can I do?
I decided to thank her internally for
helping to teach myself how to control my temper and develop
patience. I’m almost choking on my words, but I love her. I
may feel like giving her a wedgie, but I realize that she has her own
issues. I recognize that we both come from the same loving spark of
God. And so, I will love her, no matter how difficult it feels. And,
I’ll check out YouTube and most likely fix the faucet myself.
There’s so much more to love. For me,
the key is to recognize that we all come from the same spark. It’s
not up to us to decide who is worthy or not of love because we are
all equally deserving. I know it can be a challenge, but love is why
we are here. Learn how to love everyone.
This week’s Guy’s Guy of the
Week is ex-Beatle, John Lennon, who so aptly said, “It matters not
who you love, why you love, when you love or how you love, it matters
only that you love”.
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