this title is somewhat misleading because it’s not about tough love meaning “the expression used when someone treats another person sternly with the intent to help them in the long run.” i’m actually going to be writing about love being tough. “love is tough” just didn’t sound like a good title, hence “tough love.” i’m picky sometimes, so what. :)
love. is. freaking. hard.
my dad is usually more of the one in my family to engage with me in “deep talks” (he’s an INFP), but once in a while my engineer-like-minded ISTJ mother also engages me in deep talks and drops truth bombs unrelated to efficiency and task-oriented things.
one of the lines she’s said to me a few times in the past that has always stuck with me is “love without sacrifice is not love.”
and my, how i’ve been learning that love is a sacrifice. actually, maybe not even to the point of learning, but at least noticing.
love feels more like a sacrifice these days than when i was younger. i don’t know if due to a personality change in me, the fact that i’m juggling a lot right now and don’t have much spare time, or that i seem increasingly less patient than previous years. perhaps a combination of all of these things. regardless, i’m starting to see that love takes a lot out of you.
- love is tough when i come across people with vastly different opinions than me. especially around sensitive topics like race, politics, and injustice. i have such a hothead when it comes to these types of things. i’m not saying all of my anger is righteous, it’s not, but a good friend once reminded me not to feel bad about this sort of anger because he’s pretty sure God is pissed off at these things too. regardless. i suck at loving ignorant people. i hope this is an area i can grow in and that instead of just being pissed off i can try to see things from their perspective too and be able to dialogue peacefully. not really there yet though. help, jesus.
- love is tough when i treasure having autonomy and independence. i’m an only child. an introvert. had to be independent for a lot of things growing up having immigrant parents. all ingredients to my love (or habit) of working by myself and doing my own thing. giving this up some day is going to be freaking hard. i’m so used to being able to be selfish. frick.
- love is tough when i have expectations that i might not even know about in friends, family, loved ones. whether it’s expecting my parents to react a certain way to good news, expecting friends to comfort me in a particular way when i’m going through hardship, or expecting my future bf to read my mind — — uncommunicated expectations can kill relationships. and unrealistic expectations can kill relationships too. or at least play the most tedious mind games. communication, communication, communication.
essentially, love is tough because i am a selfish, flawed, human being in need of grace. because that’s what we all are. and we live in relationships with each other.
like an old pastor once said.
one sinful person with messiness + another sinful person with messiness = double the messiness.
despite my bent towards sin and selfishness, i hope that jesus helps me to become a kinder, more loving person that can put others needs before myself. (while still addressing my own needs too. that balance).