I work very hard and am attending college to obtain my degree in the Human Service field. Writing makes me feel alive and gives me the opportunity to touch those whom I would not be able to otherwise. Last but not least, I have been blessed with two amazing daughters who love me completely and support my dreams. Feel free to contact me with questions, concerns or feedback.
What is your definition of love? According to the dictionary, it is defined as; a strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties, attraction based on sexual desire, warm attachment, enthusiasm or devotion, unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another, among many others. One could say this happens after a few cold ones or a night on the town. Sad, yet true.
I agree with the definition. Yet, the above feelings and emotions rarely last long enough for a relationship to be based on love alone.
How many times do you find it hard to like, much less love, yourself? How many of us go through feelings of low self esteem and insecurities? Although I can honestly say I like who I am today, there have been times in the past where I have questioned my own motives. The “why did I do that” question has popped up more than once. Throughout the years, I have fine tuned my existence and now live my life free of guilt and shame. What a great feeling.
Instead of creating a relationship built on love, I have decided to go the route of sustenance. This is not a feeling or emotion. It is simply a belief that two individuals will take care of and lift one another up.
The definition to sustain is; maintain, supply with necessities or nourishment, provide for, support from below, keep from falling or sinking, support the spirits, vitality or resolution of, encourage, bear up under, withstand and affirm the validity of.
Hearing the words “I love you” for the first time may be a dream come true. They are blissful and amazing, necessary at times for reassurance and forgiveness. Yet, hearing those words alone are not going to get you through the difficult times in life. Emotions and feelings of love waiver from minute to minute, day to day. The love you felt 5 years ago may not exist within this moment. Therefore, we must rely on something else.
“I sustain you,” three very simple words which hold the promise of so much more. It is a belief that a parent, partner, child and friend will support, provide and care for you through the most difficult of circumstances. They promise to have the strength to walk with you for an hour, day, week or lifetime. The ability to bear emotional, mental and physical weight through your illnesses and relationships.
In lieu of the emotions and feelings of love, why not depend on the ability to sustain one another? When you promise a lifelong partner that you will sustain them, you are stating that you will support, encourage and maintain their well being. It is all done within the context of ability. Each of us is given different strengths. One may be stronger physically, the other, emotionally.
When individuals are honest and open about who they are and what strengths they withhold, they are able to balance a relationship at its fullest. Without honesty, there will be an imbalance which may move towards a power struggle. Within a power struggle is the need to control or dominate and that relationship will always end in disaster.
If I had a choice between love and being sustained, I choose the latter. Love is an emotion or feeling, being sustained is an action, seen and heard. To my family and friends, I promise to love you, care for you, walk with you, hold you and, most important, sustain you.