Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.
People have said, “Don’t cry” to other people for years and years, and all it has ever meant is, “I’m too uncomfortable when you show your feelings. Don’t cry.” I’d rather have them say, “Go ahead and cry. I’m here to be with you.”
Love and trust, in the space between what’s said and what is heard in our life, can make all the difference in this world.
The gifts we treasure most over the years are often small and simple. In easy times and in tough times, what seems to matter most is the way we show those nearest to us that we’ve been listening to their needs, to their joys, and to their challenges.
Mutually caring relationships require kindness and patience, tolerance, optimism, joy in the other’s achievements, confidence in oneself, and the ability to give without undue thought of gain. We need to accept the fact that it’s not in the power of any human being to provide all these things all the time. For any of us, mutually caring relationships will also always include some measure of unkindness and impatience, intolerance, pessimism, envy, self-doubt, and disappointment.
In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.
The greatest gift you ever give is your honest self.
We need to help people to discover the true meaning of love. Love is generally confused with dependence. Those of us who have grown in true love know that we can love only in proportion to our capacity for independence.
Love is like infinity: You can’t have more or less infinity, and you can’t compare two things to see if they’re “equally infinite.” Infinity just is, and that’s the way I think love is, too.
Listening is a very active awareness of the coming together of at least two lives. Listening, as far as I’m concerned, is certainly a prerequisite of love. One of the most essential ways of saying “I love you” is being a receptive listener.
Human relationships are primary in all of living. When the gusty winds blow and shake our lives, if we know that people care about us, we may bend with the wind…but we won’t break.
When we love a person, we accept him or her exactly as is: the lovely with the unlovely, the strong along with the fearful, the truth mixed in with the facade, and of course, the only way we can do it is by accepting ourselves that way.