And while I'm digging on this beautifully sung song about something kind of sad--poor choices in love, and how we sometimes have the greatest resolve for the wrong things, even though we know they're wrong--I started thinking about something I read recently about love and choices. It resonated with me.
The writer stated "People are either being love or seeking love." And it's true, when you think about it. I know it sounds a little love-soaked-and-pot-smoked-60's, and I scoffed at first, too, but any behavior really can be categorized this way. And what a healthier way to approach people and actions in general. Instead of responding to someone's negative act with more negativity, we can instead choose to see that act for what it is. Seeking love (approval, acceptance, attention, etc). When thinking of it that way, we are perhaps persuaded to NOT respond with negativity. Perhaps, instead, we're persuaded to respond with something better.
Think of it like this: You wouldn't slap a wound, would you? Probably not. (Unless that's your thing. Kinky bastard.) You'd probably apply a salve, right? Or, at the very least, NOT slap it. This isn't to say it's up to us to fix someone, but we can choose how we respond to or approach people. We choose. And that's hard! For me, anyway.
We all have default settings in wiring when responding to stress. Let me explain. This is a true story from my childhood, and one that I've told more than a few times, but it perfectly exemplifies the differences in how people are wired:
When I was younger, we had a dog. It was a standard poodle that a friend of my mother could no longer take care of, so she brought it home. It did not look like a poodle at all. It looked like a large and dirty rug on legs. The curls that are usually so recognizable had grown and become so knotted and mangled that a visit to the groomer was a must.
Upon the dog's return, a volatile stew of emotion was set to boil. Mom and the now completely shaved dog walked in to where I awaited with my younger brother and sister. A moment of silenced passed between us, but only a moment. Then, the default response setting for each of us kicked in.
I immediately became enraged. What is this!? What have you done!? How could you do that to that poor dog!? Mother!? Why!!?? What have you done!? I can't believe you did that! My brother immediately started laughing and shaking his head. No words. Just lots of chuckling and head shaking. My sister started crying. Hard. Full sobs and wailing.
And you know what? Those immediate emotional responses to the stress we were presented with on that day are the real and true default settings we have. Each time I'm confronted with a stressful or intense situation, I'm angry first, and then after I have a minute to process, I can think clearly and then respond with what's appropriate. My brother to this day responds to stress with humor. My sister's first response to stress is an emotional purge. It's always been that way. It will likely always be that way.
What I can do is understand this about myself and give myself some time before responding to stressful situations. Sounds good, right? Well, easier said than done. But I'd like to try. I think I'd like to try being love for a while. Nothing more or better can be said. No mo' better.