I began using the term “even when” in our family. I began to see that I needed to express to those who are close to me that “even when”…they are having a bad day, I love them.
Love by the majority standard would look mostly like, “only when” or “only if” you do a certain something, I will love you. Love is not supposed to be based on a reciprocation. Real love is something given freely, expecting nothing in return.
Sometimes, expectations of people are developed from a tallying of good deeds or sacrifices made by a person who is contributing to a relationship with the wrong motives. Soon the person keeping score decides other people aren’t keeping up with their side of the bargain and bitterness settles in.
I grew up believing it’s polite to give someone something in return for something received. In most cultures this is the case. We grew up teaching our kids this, until one day, I began to notice we were doing things from a place of obligation and not from a place of freedom.
I also grew up learning to give to my relationships loyalty and love. However, when my needs were not being met in exchange for my loyalty and love, the response was rage and bitterness.
Sometimes people do for others expecting a symbiotic relationship in return. We must learn to love people “even when” they may never return the favor. Imagine if people actually started doing this? I wonder if the divorce rate would easily change?
So who can you love today “even when”?