Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Trust and Love: How They Are Connected

I wish to discuss two words: Trust and Love. Both seem appropriate in light of the recent unfortunate events. Here are two questions for you to consider. Is Trust given or is it earned? And second, Is Love given or earned? And since I have two questions, I must confess to a third. What is the connection between Trust and Love?
Once we have answered the first question, we may then say it serves as the pinion for love, the basis, the rock upon which love is built. And there is no doubt, that's what the world needs now.
So, what does it mean to Trust? To Love? The issue goes back to the beginning of time. In Christianity, the first Adam trusted Eve. He had no reason not to trust her. Sampson had no reason not to trust Delilah. Caesar, though warned to beware of the Ides of March, had no reason to mistrust Brutus. Each found their trust betrayed. What happens when trust is betrayed? Love files out the window.
To love, one must trust that the other is going to promote their well being and happiness. Violate trust and love is lost, perhaps never to return. If it does, it may not be on the same secure footing as before. How do you get it back? Earn it? Yes! You have to make regular installments just as you would in your bank account. And then maybe, when the account has been active for awhile, trust may return. If it does, it will be in the name of love. It is trust that engenders harmony and peace; it is trust that engenders that love that each human being seeks.
Dr. Robert Frey reminds us that we must do all we can do to create a love-based reality. In doing so, we must realize it is a 'moment to moment affair.' So, how does one love? First let's see if we can arrive at a working definition. I love chocolate, the Mariners, mystery novels. I love my pet. Love, Love, Love. And not one ounce of understanding. The word, Love, has been so overused it has become nearly vacuous. So how do we take something that has nearly lost its meaning and give it back? This question is really no different than the question about trust.
Trust is given. Love is given.. Do you give trust with conditions? Only if it has been violated. Is it necessary to read the fine print to know if you are trusted? Isn't that what prenuptial agreements or pre-assigned responsibilities within a relationship are-fine print conditions?
The musical muses tell us that 'love is a many-splendored thing.' We are told 'love is what makes the world go around,' and we are told that 'love is the greatest thing.' Yet, do we all not put restrictions on its natural flow? Do we not have reservations because love is an unconditional commitment? After all, isn't conditional love something that can be turned on and off? A conditioned love requires that one of the partners is to do something that pleases the other. On the simplest level, a child picks up its toy from the floor because its mother says "How sweet. I love you, honey." The message conveyed by such behavior is that one must earn love. People who are perfectionists and those who are people pleasers most likely have experienced love conditionally and have never really felt love. They have not experienced that unconditional commitment. What a box!
Dare I ask commitment to what? To faith that love will be returned? In Christianity, one is reminded that "faith to move mountains" is worthless without love. We are told that even philanthropy without love is lacking in spirituality. In Love, we give to others. That is the essence of philanthropy; it is the essence of faith and it should be the basis for our interaction with each other. When one loves, there has been a choice-an expressed desire made for the happiness of someone else. That we call benevolence. The commitment then, is to a personal behavior that reflects benevolence.
Do not confuse benevolence with altruism. Altruism dictates that you sacrifice yourself for the benefit of others; that is, their needs claim your actions and behavior and even your life. If I may borrow a term from today's computer jargon, benevolence enables; it enables you to achieve your value from relationships with other people. Benevolence does not rest upon the misfortunes of others; whereas, altruism seems to be directed by that fact. The simple act of giving someone the benefit of the doubt creates an avenue for benevolent behavior, the opportunity to demonstrate the value of unconditional love. When that love is a commitment to a personal behavior that derives value from life itself, from interaction with others, and with society as a whole, then you are benevolent. Matthew Fox has said, "Compassion is not a moral commandment but a flow and overflow of the fullest human and divine energies." That's benevolence.
If a man wants to build a house, he uses wood. He must also provide hollow space within that house; empty of wood thus both wood and the absence of wood are required to build that house. Building a loving relationship is similar. The builder of Love must bring values (the wood) and time (the space) to the relationship. To do otherwise results in a house built of sand. You cannot be as the shifting stand if you want a loving, personal, and lasting relationship. If you are, there is no permanence. It will have slipped between your fingers before you had a chance to grasp it, to taste it, to savor its delicacy.
The late syndicated columnist Jim Bishop wrote an inspiring essay called Love Something Apart. In it, he states, 'Love is giving. It is the unification of two persons into one. It is possession and being possessed. But it is also jealousy, hostility, insecurity, and despair. It is the only thing which must be resurrected every day.' Trust is applied here because one trusts that there will be a resurrection. Love allows us to experience life and to connect in a positive way. Denying the existence and the experience of love, choosing not to practice it, denies your divinity. And that is the sin! Denying your spirituality; a damnation of all that is divine.
Buddhist tell us to pay careful attention to the other person, to listen for what is actually being said so that we can recognize the source of what is being felt. If you do that, you can respond with care, and compassion. And isn't that benevolence? And isn't that Love? Of course it is. But at the same time, it is so much more. It is the total and complete recognition of the divine in all life. Swami Vivekananda has written, 'real existence, real knowledge, and real love are eternally connected with one another, the three in one; where one of them is, the others must be.'
We make the mistake in loving the wrong way. A man, for example, loves his wife. He wants her with him at all times, to sit by him at social functions, to eat with him, to walk with him. He calls her several times a day from his place of work. This makes him a slave to her existence. This is not love. Love would set her free to be all that she could be. And if she, in turn loves him, she would help him cut the umbilical cord he has fastened to her. It is, after all a mutual thing. Every act of love should bring happiness and joy if not a sense of wonderment. In real love, love does not deliberately cause pain or suffering. If it does, there has been a corruption.
In closing I wish to leave with you a little piece a friend shared with me. It's author is unknown. It's titled The Essence of Compassion. "Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the starving, and tolerant with the weak and wrong-because sometime in your life you will have been all of these."

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9034765

No comments: