Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Dark Side of "Love"

I am sure that many of you have heard the story of the woman who said, “I love it when my husband beats me.” To the shocked faces of her friends she states: “It feels so good when he stops.” Sadly, there are women who believe this adage. A “beating” does not have to come in physical form. Women take beatings every day and no one lays a hand on them. Instead, they view themselves as so insignificant that every demeaning word from the mouths of others inflicts raw, gaping wounds. “You’re a failure.” “You are worthless.” “You don’t understand anything!”

Maybe she works a full-time job, raises the children, takes care of the house, pays the bills and still is told that she “isn’t there for her family” or that she “doesn’t do enough.” A woman who has not experienced previous trauma would tell the person berating her where they could go jump! But a woman who is already experiencing a lack of self-confidence – from whatever source – will take those words to heart and derive her worth – or lack of it – from this twisted view.

Using “love” – withholding it or granting its favor – is despicable. I am not referring to sex; I am talking about the emotion of love. Some people treat others as if their love for them is dependent upon how well that individual pleases them. If they do not agree, make a choice that is not approved, or pursue a direction that is not understood, love is retracted. Once they come “into line” again, love is granted. This is NOT love. This is manipulation.

If a woman desires love, the first thing she must do is learn how to love herself. Loving yourself means removing from your life those people and things who attempt to hold you down and keep you feeling insignificant. Loving yourself means demanding and expecting respect. Loving yourself means no settling for the desires of others when your own desires call to your heart.

Loving yourself – especially for a woman who has already experienced a “beating” – is an act of courage, fortitude, and determination. The rewards are well-worth the effort: respect for self and from others, a chance at happiness, and the knowledge and experience of real love.

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