You know how we regularly struggle and sweat to get physically fit? Increasingly, it seems to me the same is true for relational “fitness” … and might even be a key to healing our political, racial, and other divides. In other words: Real love is messy. It embraces uncomfortableness by courageously choosing to vulnerably share our scary stuff, as well as kindly determining to listen to and stay in relationship with those who believe and see things differently than us. The key is realizing: The rich life is IN the messiness!
Personally, for years I was addicted to porn, but too ashamed to tell anyone. I suffered greatly in silence. It was a vicious cycle of succumbing to temptation, being overwhelmed with guilt, and self-loathing. In many ways, though, it has been the sharing about this struggle with others that has kept me “clean and sober” for nearly 13 years! Truly, as scary as vulnerability can be, it was NOT being vulnerable about this that kept me trapped in a hellish place. Have you had similar experiences?
The more real about ourselves we become on the outside with others, the more love heals and lights us up from the inside!
Another gritty, angsty aspect of love is it invites us stay with, listen to, and open our minds to be changed by people with beliefs, views, and votes we disagree with. I count myself lucky to have friends/family on all the sides. While the discussions can get heated—when we stay with it and choose curiosity and kindness over being “right”, we’re not only able to understand and love one another better, we’re changed for the good in the process! Note, like how a workout gets easier with repetition, we get better at being lovingly uncomfortable every time we cross the messy lines of politics and religion.
Real love is messy, vulnerable, courageous, curious, diverse, uncomfortable, and kind.
As scary as it can be, though, choosing this path has been like changing my life from black-and-white to 4k high-definition color. I have a hunch it might be similar for you!
Hugs & Love,
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