Tuesday, 13 September 2016
How to Fight for Love
I haven’t written about love for a while, so I have decided to throw in a little blog for you today. My daughter calls these love blogs 'fluffy'. Well, who cares? Love makes the world go round, right?
Why won’t he/she hear me? Why is she/he shutting me out? What is happening to us? If you have ever found yourself on the brink of losing the love of your life, then you will know where I am going with this. You know you love him/her and yet for whatever reason, you cannot seem to agree on anything. It appears as if some a vicious worm has penetrated your once solid relationship and all you have left are holes. Holes you cannot seem to fill no matter what you do or say. Have they fallen out of love? You wonder. So, what do you do when that happens? Do you just throw in the towel and hope that one day you will once again stumble upon another amazing love? Or do you stay and fight?
Someone once said, ‘There is value in the valley.’ I am inclined to agree. The reason is that when we find ourselves between a hard place and a rock, true value comes from the ability to sit back and reflect. Truly reflect. No sugar-coating anything. Just being real with yourself as you try to understand and figure out where you went wrong. Once you’ve reflected, it is time to decide what you want. Do you want to fight or are you done? Most importantly, can you live with the result, good or bad? The strength, energy, and skills you will need for this will make you a better person in the end.
This woman I know never knew what fighting for love meant until she met the love of her life. Here she was, nearly losing the man who had opened her eyes and her heart, her best friend. When she came to this place, she began to reflect on the good times. How it had all started.
She had loved him from the moment she laid my eyes on him. When he took her hand and twirled her on the dance floor in a club one night, and for the first time, her heart pounded, and her spirit soared as it had never done before. As he had whispered in her ear, his voice serenading her, her heart had bubbled with joy. Her friends who had watched them from a distance had later told her what they had seen. ‘You are so good together. You look so happy.’ They hadn’t told her what the woman’s gut didn’t already know. She’d had already had an epiphany that she had met the one. If there’s such a thing.
Days, weeks and months followed, and they soon arrived in ‘blissland’. Then life happened. The inevitable, that phase that every relationship goes through came. Her partner became distant and emotionally shut down. The more she chased, the faster he ran. And, the harder she knocked, the tighter the hinge on his door became. They swiftly drifted apart, and there was nothing she could do about it. Or was there?
Then, after she had spent many sleepless nights, she decided enough was enough. She was not going just to roll over and let her love die. So, she fought for her love.
If you’re going to fight, then fight for love. Another cliché I know. But, isn’t it true, though. If you cannot fight to preserve love, what else do you want to fight for? This love, I must emphasise, does not have to be the romantic kind. It can be a friendship. The love between siblings or child and parent. Sometimes these relationships drift apart, and people are left wondering, bewildered and confused. At times, because of pride or miscommunication, the love simply dies down, and people spend the rest of their lives with scars. Scars they cannot get past.
So, how do you fight for love? Well, I reckon, in this kind of war, two crucial ingredients need to be present.
1) Both parties must recognise what they have and what they have to lose.
2) Both parties must be willing to get in the ring because it's a futile attempt to fight for someone who doesn't want you in the first place.
So, I am just going to expand on these two crucial points and break them down the best way I know how.
In the battle of love, you cannot win, unless both of you are on the same team and fighting for the same result. Broach the subject with patience, love, and understanding. If you are going to communicate, then be honest and don’t hold back. Holding back means you are willing your partner to fail. Because, how are they going to know how to proceed if you are not real with them. Let them know where the holes in your relationship are and then give them the chance to fill them up. Be honest about your feelings and thoughts. That way, you are guiding and showing your partner how to love you. They will never know unless you’re honest with them. The truth will hurt but, if you are on the same team, it is easy to ride the tide.
Compassion suggests that you can place yourself in the other’s shoes. Getting to a place of understanding the other person and how your words and actions impact on their ability to love and understand you. When both of you are fighting for the same resolution, you find it to stop each other when you know a line is about to be crossed. You don’t stop them by pointing a finger, but by saying something which shows you’re operating from a place of compassion and understanding.
Trust is earned and built through honest communication. Respect also comes in. So, resist the urge to entertain that negative voice which tells you not to believe anything they say. If you are ever in any doubt, now is the time to ask all the relevant questions. Even if you don’t like what you hear, be willing to tackle it with an open mind. Even if you don’t agree with what they are saying, let them know, but respect their opinion at the same time. After all, we are all individual beings entitled to our opinions according to how we view the world.
It is crucial that you reassure your partner of your devotion, commitment and love. Because you have found yourself in this painful, and uncertain place, the tendency is to entertain doubts. Do they love me at all? You may wonder from time to time. Know and realise that your partner needs to hear those words of reassurance, whatever they are. If it means reminding them why you love them in the first place, then remind them. They need to hear that. It is hard right now, but if they know you love and appreciate them and have no intention of bolting on them, then you will be fine.
Change. Make amends. Do whatever you need to do to improve your relationship/friendship. As you work through your problems, lay your cards on the table. Specify what bothers you. If you both want to see an improvement, then the change should not be too difficult. This change will not happen overnight, so, exercise patience. Give the other person space and time to process everything. Reward positive change but not in a condescending and patronising manner. Show gratitude and be genuine in your thank yous. And when you change, be consistent. You will find that when you do this, nothing will seem like a chore because what you will get in return, will be ten times fold.
You will lose the fight if you don't learn to forgive. Forgive with all your heart and do not keep dragging up the past each time you disagree because you cannot avoid conflict. It's part of life. What matters is how you fight. As you forgive, receive forgiveness, you are developing as a person. You learn to be humble, to love others unconditionally and to be accommodating. Overall, you develop resilience because as you tackle the challenge that comes with dealing with another human being, you discover your strength and other qualities you never knew you had.
And, now, for that all-important ingredient – love. I believe where there is love, real, genuine love, nothing is impossible to tackle. You are not afraid to lay bare your soul and to be vulnerable. It may take a little while, and the process may be emotionally taxing for both of you, but with the love that binds you, you will yield the results that you both want in the end. Talk, yell, cry, throw tantrums, break a cup or two even. If you do it for the right reasons, it will be alright. What you will end up with is a true acceptance of the other person - unconditional love.