Only Love Can Break Your Heart

Posted: November 7, 2011 in Family, Friendship, Life, Relationships
Tags: , , ,

Let me paint you a picture here quick. Not literally. I’m not a good enough painter to literally paint you a picture. It’s going to be one of those metaphoric pictures.

Imagine you love your mom (for some that’s probably not a stretch). You’re talking to her, she says something, and you just FLIP. What she said wasn’t mean, she didn’t mean it condescendingly, but for whatever reason you lash out in anger and go on a tirade. If you were the Incredible Hulk, you would have turned green and ripped your shirt off.

Chances are if you haven’t done this to your mom you’ve probably done it to someone else in your family. Or your husband, or your boyfriend, or your best friend. Here’s what I want to know. Why? And my why isn’t a confrontational one. I’m not asking it in a “why would you treat people like that, you piece of crap” kind of way.

Yesterday I had the following posed to me by someone that I love very much. Why do we always lash out at the people we love the most, the people who love US the most? How is it that we’re nice and tolerant to people at work that we may not necessarily like, but to our own family and friends sometimes we’re downright cruel? Do you have any idea how much better of a place the world would be, or how much better PEOPLE would be if we treated those we love with half as much kindness as we treated those we “have” to get along with?

Wow. Deep stuff huh? But true stuff. So what’s the deal? Why do we do that? There’s a bible verse that says, “everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.” Okay. Fair enough. But why is it easier for me to do that with my boss than it is my boyfriend? Or my mom? Why do we inevitably, at some point in our lives, end up hurting people we love?

I think it’s actually BECAUSE we love them. And they us. And when you combine that with how selfish we as humans can be—it can sometimes create an explosive combination. Let’s say I’m having a fight with my mom, whom I love very, very much. I’ve known this woman for 29 years, so I’ve got some ammo. I pull out the big guns, and put her in her place—all for what? So I could “win” our argument? What happened to being slow to speak and slow to anger?

I love the people in my life more than anything. If you told me I had to give up all my material possessions for them tomorrow morning—I wouldn’t even flinch. But because I love those people so much, because I have such intimate knowledge of them and who they are, I’m left with being one of the people who has the capability of hurting them the most—and that is a very scary, and very powerful thing. Neil Young sings a song called, “Only Love Can Break Your Heart,” and he’s right. Other things can hurt you, other things can break your heart—but even those things are centered around love.

Here’s the irony of the whole thing. Those people that we have the ability to hurt? They’re the ones who will forgive us more readily than anyone else. That does NOT give us the license though to run around hurting them—forgiveness is not something that should be taken for granted.

So what do we do? Well, for starters we continue to love. While it may be part of the problem, it’s a much bigger part of the solution. Secondly, we listen better, we talk less, and we don’t let anger get the best of us. In other words, we strive every day to become people who are quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.

Love is a powerful emotion—maybe THE most powerful emotion. And like Peter Parker was told, “with great power comes great responsibility.” When you’re filled with love for someone, you have the ability to cut them deeply—you’re holding their heart in your hand. Don’t drop it.

  1. wmarsau says:

    I love this post. It is so true. We could all learn something from this. Great job Steph!

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