If I accept people as they are, I am loving them even when I can't stand them. Right? So when someone I love (supposedly) can only communicate with me by airing their upsets, annoyances and endless ways they have been wronged...I just accept it, if I love them. I wouldn't tell them to change. I wouldn't put rules on the type of communication I would allow them to bring to me. I would just see that this is a suffering person. This is a person who is stuck in a vicious cycle of victim-hood that was created long ago and has been nothing but reinforced everyday and in every thought.
I am not that loving person. I hear the dissent and my skin pricks, the muscles tighten around my neck and my jaw clenches. I am not listening anymore and am instead running through all the reasons I cannot stand to be in this conversation anymore. I have become resentful. I have created reason upon reason for why I am right about this person's griping being pathetic and selfish. I am so removed from a position of loving that I can hardly touch this person without feeling awkward and distant.
The only person I really love is my child. I don't know of another person who I love in every moment, regardless of her momentary mood or behavior. I see her acting out and I wonder what the hurt is, what the need is that isn't being fulfilled. I know this is true for every person. The acting out fills a void. We are mostly creatures that interact with the acting-out parts of each other, instead of loving through that moment and discovering what is really going on.
The person I most work on loving is my husband.
So I guess what I'm saying is that I am an amateur lover. I have trained myself over time to love sparingly and with great caution. I clearly see how this does myself and others a disservice. I worry that I will inadvertently pass this sometimes painful trait on to my babies. I have an extraordinary opportunity to practice loving over the next few days. To say it out loud sounds like a silly, simple task. Just to love someone. Yet the thought of releasing all the stored up resentments, with whom I've become close and friendly, presents itself as scary.