What follows, is a comment I got from a recent post of mine. I just want to let Jeff know, that I wasn’t blowing off his comment in any way. I just seriously needed some time to give it the reply I thought it deserved… And it turns out that it deserved its own blog post. So if you will all bear with me, I’ll be speaking directly to Jeff from here on out.
Jeff: From people I love, I never need to hear “I’m sorry”. They were forgiven before the ‘sin’ or crime was committed. To people I love I may say “I’m sorry” if I have accidently (or on purpose) hurt them in some kind of way.
And Hobbler is right. “Love Hurts” – and it can. It really sucks sometimes. One mistake all too many people make is the assumption that “If I love them, they should love me” – and feeling hurt because the other person doesn’t, or doesn’t love them in the way they love that person. A source of many pains.
I gave up love from about 13 until 21. Literally said “s*** on it”. Still have some hate issues left over from it. Learned though (when I was 21 – a ‘personality’ and an age; see my ‘about me’) – that I was missing a heck of a lot more by NOT loving than I would be by embracing the concept. Took a lot to do it. (okay, more than a lot. I had to ‘build a new self’ to handle a whole new world for ‘me’.)
Love at best is an ambigious thing, and I NEVER say “I love you” lightly or as just a set of words (I hate that – that people lie like that all the time, saying “I love you” when they just sort of like you). But here’s a question: what does love mean to a child? And is it even necessary for a child to have love at all? (Just a question you understand; and not talking romantic love, either!) Just one of the things that has always puzzled me . . . is love NEEDED – or is it just a desire?
Wow, all that in a tiny comment box? What is the world coming to? You kind of blew me away there, buddy. No bullshit. I can put myself in your shoes to some extent, because I’ve had some very similar issues with getting a hold of the idea of “me” and all that. Although I’ve never had any real help in dealing with any of that stuff. It was all just me, and sheer force of will. Up until recently, that is. And thanks to a very special friend of mine, I was able to let a lot of I go… And she accepted that from me. She made no judgments, and still saw me as the person I was, rather than letting what I had told her beauty and her perception of me. And it is for this reason that I’ll love her till the day I die. And that’s when I realized, the appropriate response to the questions you posed to me. Up front, I don’t disagree with anything you said. If it were mathematically possible for me to agree beyond 100%, I would do so. When I tell somebody that I love them, now it takes on a whole new meaning for me. For me, saying “I love you” to someone, has a lot of different meanings. Let’s be up front, we’re guys. I’ve been known in the past to say I love you just to get past some barrier to my perceived conquest. I was an asshole. Now, I’ve learned that that phrase has a base meaning, irrespective of the type of love that you may have for a person. Saying “I love you” is extremely close to saying “I trust you”.
And in return, you’re also inviting the person to trust you, and ultimately if that person is unwilling to reciprocate, then we do not in fact love each other in any way. So to answer your question, yes… A child needs to have the ability to trust in someone other than themselves. It is absolutely vital, coming from the perspective of someone who’s found it very difficult to trust those that he was supposed to have trusted from birth.