All of these questions about "love" but no answers. It makes my brain buzz and my heart ache. It's so easy to say what is and isn't love but another to know for sure.
I remember those years ago sitting in a therapy group for victims of sexual abuse listening to those around me define love. But then those definitions were all about "perspective," were they not? Each person sitting there pretty much decided that actions speak louder than words as if that was some easy answer to this whole quandary.
Over the years I found nothing could be farther from the truth. Actions are only one aspect of a person's makeup. I've certainly hurt people that I care about........sometimes inadvertently and sometimes I knew exactly what I was doing would cause them pain. But I can tell you from the bottom of my heart that my actions didn't mean I did not care.
Not to get off track, but as an example of such a decision. I placed my daughter in a foster home because she was doing drugs and totally out of control. Nothing we were doing was working. I made my decision both to protect the younger children from her and to show her there were consequences for her behavior.
I can assure you she hated that decision and felt (and probably still feels) I was totally wrong.........and that I did not love her because of it. While I was very angry at my daughter, that decision was based on love. I have never stopped loving my daughter despite her flaws.
Yet, I would bet she could make a great case for my behavior proving that I do not love her based on her perspective. I could probably make a great case for her not loving me based on mine. The problem is that probably neither of these would be the real truth.
There in lies the dilemma. Is it more important that someone treat us exactly how we wish to be treated? Of is it more important that they truly love us? Then, if it is truth we are after, how do we find the real truth instead of getting caught up in each other's issues and drowned in the quagmire?