Afterwards, feeling a bit more calm of mind, I trundled back into town with the windows down and the radio on.
I often listen to CBC radio when I'm lurching along in my truck. I find it informative, funny, infuriating, enlightening, frightening and always interesting. They program a lot of things that aren't news in the standard sense (stories, insights, world perspectives, etc) and seldom do I hear the maddening drivel propagated as culturally important which is ultimately gossip about over-paid, self-promoting societal aberrations. I really don't care who is doing who or what they had for dinner at their paparazzi infested birthday party... as if the rest of the world doesn't have a birthday.
Umm... Got sidetracked by the gossip.
Anyhoo... Something came on CBC about pets and how some people view them as family. Not entirely a bad thing in my opinion. On the show, there were a couple of experts with differing points of view about how we view our pets. They talked about how we equate our pet's adoration to what we want in our relationships. And some of us go overboard with our pets. Let's face it... the lady with the Ikea monkey was (and still is) a bit out of touch. She is far from the only example of over doing it.
One of the points made during the commentary caught my attention. We have pets who give us unconditional love and somehow expect the same from people around us. For some reason we have equated a pet's adoration to what we want in a relationship.
There is a misconception about unconditional love. The presumption seems to be: if you love me unconditionally, you will stay with me forever. That's a bit short sighted and really doesn't explain what love is. The idea that unconditional love means doing whatever we want to ourselves or others and our significant other has to not only adore us and not voice an opinion, they must also stay with us forever, is an unrealistic notion.
Too often, there is a connecting line drawn between not liking an action someone does and not loving them. It's an epic mistake. I might do something you don't like... maybe leave the toilet seat up... and I doubt that means you don't love me if it bothers you. Not doing the dishes immediately or forgetting to take the garbage out doesn't mean I don't love you either. It means I'm not ready to do the dishes yet or was distracted and forgot the garbage. That's it.
We need to stop over-analyzing every action and reaction.
The perspective of what unconditional love is has to change. The shift has to be made in our minds that unconditional love does not mean we are going to like or accept everything our partner does. Unconditional love does not equate to unconditional acceptance. And, not liking what you do does not mean I don't love you. The fact of the matter is, that I love you is the very reason I voice my opinion about some of the things you do. I would expect the same from you. It shows you care enough about me to voice an opinion about something that may harm me or someone else.
This is important. Are you getting it?
We can love someone unconditionally and not be able to live with some of their traits. It doesn't mean we don't love them. It means we can't stand by and watch what they are doing to themselves or others. It means we are not able to accept certain traits because it hurts us or them.
Just because the waves are high or the wind is blowing an undesirable direction doesn't mean I don't love kayaking. Just because some of the things said on CBC infuriate me doesn't mean I don't love listening to the station. Just because someone doesn't like something you do doesn't mean they don't love you. And it certainly doesn't mean they're going to hate you or abandon you.
Just because your dog follows your every move and command doesn't mean your significant other will.
More importantly, not liking something doesn't mean they are not grateful for having you in their life.