Monday, June 28, 2010
Loving a Human Being
by Andrea Weitzner
Back to The Wisdom Garden
Loving a human being is accepting the opportunity of truly getting to know them, and enjoying the adventure of exploring and discovering what lies beyond their masks and defenses. It is contemplating with tenderness their deepest feelings, fears and insecurities, their dreams and joys, sorrows and aspirations. It is being able to understand that behind their shields and masks, a sensitive and lonely heart is hidden, starving for a friendly hand and a sincere smile where they can feel at home. It is acknowledging with respectful compassion, that the disharmony and chaos in which they sometimes live are the product of their ignorance and unconsciousness, and realizing that if they occasionally cause pain and sorrow, it is because they have not yet learned to cultivate happiness, and sometimes they feel so empty and such lack of sense that they can’t even trust themselves. It is discovering and honoring their true identity beyond all superficial appearances, and to honestly appreciate their infinite greatness as a unique expression of Life itself.
Loving a human being is giving them the opportunity of being listened to with deep attention, interest and respect; accepting their experience not trying to modify it but to understand it. It is offering them a space where they can discover themselves without the fear of feeling questioned, a space where they can feel comfortable sharing their feelings without being forced to reveal the things they consider private. It is acknowledging and displaying the fact that they have the inalienable right to choose their own path, even if it is different from your own. It is allowing them to discover their inner truth by themselves, in their own way. It is appreciating them without conditions, neither judging nor evaluating disapproving of them, and without asking them to adjust themselves to fit your ideals nor expecting them to act and behave according to your standards. It is appreciating them for what they are and not for what you would like them to be. It is trusting their ability to learn from their mistakes and to pick themselves back up when they fall, stronger and more mature. It is communicating your faith in them as a human being.
Loving a human being is daring to show yourself defenseless, revealing your inner truth — naked, honest and transparent. It is uncovering your own feelings and vulnerabilities. It is allowing them to get to know the person you really are, without making up an image designed to cause a favorable impression. It is exposing your desires and needs, without expecting them to be responsible for fulfilling them. It is expressing your thoughts and ideas without intending to convince them that they are correct. It is enjoying the privilege of being yourself without asking for approval, thus discovering new and different aspects of your personality. It is being truthful and, without fear or shame, being able to say: "This is who I am, at this point of my life, and I gladly and freely share it with you... if you wish to receive it."
Loving a human being is wanting to commit yourself voluntarily, and being able to actively respond to their need for personal development. It is believing in them when they doubt themselves, spreading your vitality and enthusiasm when they are about to give up, supporting them in moments of weakness, encouraging them when they feel insecure, holding their hand firmly and guiding them when they feel lost, caressing them with tenderness when they feel a burden — without letting yourself get carried away by their sorrows. It is being able to share each other in the present, enjoying the simple pleasure of being together without any ties or obligations.
Loving a human being is being humble enough to receive their tenderness and affection without pretending not to need anything. It is joyfully accepting what they offer you, without demanding what they can’t or don’t want to give you. It is feeling gratitude towards Life for the wonder of their existence, and feeling their presence as a true blessing in your path. It is enjoying the experience of being together, knowing that each day is an uncertain adventure and tomorrow is an endless question. It is living each instant as if it were the last one you will share with each other, and making each encounter as deep and intense as the first one — turning the 'ordinary' into a new and miraculous creation.
Loving a human being is to spontaneously express your love through your glance glances, your gestures and smiles, your firm and delicate caress, your vigorous embrace, your kisses, with simple and honest words. It is letting them know how much you appreciate them for who they are, how much you appreciate their inner treasures, including the qualities that are yet unknown to them. It is seeing their latent potential, helping the sleeping seed to blossom within them. It is letting them know that their personal growth is truly important to you, and that they can count on you. It is allowing them to discover their creative talents, encouraging them to live up to their full potential. It is revealing unto them their own inner treasures, and collaborating in mutual agreement to make this life a richer and more meaningful experience.
Loving a human being is also being able to establish your own limits and to firmly sustain them. It is respecting yourself, not allowing the other to transgress what you consider your personal rights. It is having so much confidence in yourself and the other that, without fear of damaging the relationship, you can feel free to express your anger without offending them, declaring whatever bothers or intimidates you without intending to hurt their feelings. It is acknowledging and respecting their limitations, seeing them with appreciation but without idealization. It is sharing and enjoying the agreements and accepting the disagreements. And if there ever came a day in which your paths diverged unavoidably, loving another is being able to part in peace and harmony, in such a way that both can remember each other with gratitude for the treasures you once shared.
Loving a human being is moving beyond their individuality; it is perceiving and appreciating them as a sample of humanity as a whole, as an expression of Mankind, as a evident manifestation of that transcendental and intangible essence called "human being", of which you are a part. It is acknowledging through them, the indescribable miracle of human nature, which is your own nature, with all its magnificence and limitations. It is appreciating the radiant and shining facets of humanity as well as its dark sides. Loving a human being, in essence, is loving human nature for what it really is. Therefore, loving a human being is loving yourself, feeling proud to be a note in the symphony of this world.