To Have A Friend, by Andrea Geones
Written by Andrea Geones at Words Between Coasts.
A beautiful sentiment. The highest moral value. Those for whom you care, loving them with every inch of your body, every beat of your heart, forgiving them every sin, for all their sins. A one-way street, finding contentment and solace in knowing that you love them for everything that they are, without anything expected in return.
Not expecting love in return.
Instead, pouring everything you have into making sure they know they are loved, staying by their side through everything, letting them know that you will never let them go. Making sure they understand that they can crumple up all of their trust and faith, no matter how damaged, how injured, into one messy, disorganized ball and placing it into the seemingly bottomless pit of love in your heart, in your life organ that’s pumping blood through your body.
Without realizing that it’s poisoning the blood it’s pumping through your body.
Slowly spreading the toxins of their messy, disorganized lives into your cells, into your neurons, short-circuiting the electricity that powers your heart desperately beating the poison out, but only making room to fill with more poison when it should be filled with love given to you from those whom you claim to love conditionally.
A one-way road.
Unconditional love, that beautiful sentiment. Those who claim to love the people in their lives unconditionally. Ignoring the signs that [maybe] unconditional love is not the answer to a healthy life, to healthy relationships, and true fulfillment. Allowing people to treat you badly over and over due to your altruistically self-gratifying need to love unconditionally. Perhaps to prove to others that you love unconditionally.
No expectations is a funny thing.
Love is not, should not be, purely transactional, but all give and no take is the poison to which we subject ourselves. The vampires sucking out our love, stingy with their own love but generous with their poison. Sure, maybe it’s because their souls are damaged from past abuse, trauma, the vampires in their lives doing to them what they are unknowingly doing to you.
But that does not mean that you should be subjected time and time again to their poison.
It is not your job to save them from their personal demons. You can stand by their side, take the occasional abuse because that’s what love is, understanding that sometimes people make mistakes and react instead of respond. That it is easy to allow your emotions to do the talking instead of your brain or your heart.
But, if it is all give and no take, take heed.
That’s the problem with the one-way road called unconditional love.
There are no detours, no alternative paths, no surprises, forks, or togetherness. It’s marbles running through a shoot, gathering in one selfish net with no possibility of gratitude-fueled reciprocation.
If they promise to treat you better but keep leaving you in a pool of their own misery, then start looking for a life raft.
Remember, to have a friend, you have to be a friend.
Love them. Treat them well. But reserve your unconditional love for those who deserve it.