I’ve read this quote often, but only looked at it deeply today.
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone deeply gives you courage.-Lao Tzu
How is loving deeply different from being loved deeply? The answer is obvious. You are the ‘giver’ in the first case and the ‘receiver’ in the other.
But what about one gives you ‘strength’ while the other gives you ‘courage’?
Now I’m puzzled. What’s the difference between strength and courage? There are subtle differences, I’m certain, but the dictionary doesn’t help much.
courage: the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.
strength: moral power, firmness, or courage.
Perhaps something was lost in the translation. Or am I missing the deeper meaning of this?
I’m not going to work myself up over solving this. I’m going to assume that Lao Tzu meant that loving and being loved gave you strength and courage. (If you know any different, do enlighten me.)
Loving and being loved. What would we be without love? In my opinion, there’s no better investment we can make in our own well-being than to love and be loved. Nothing brings us more happiness and peace.
But we often enter into relationships and then reach a dead end. The loving turns out to be one-sided. Sometimes both partners end up asking “What’s in it for me? Why should I continue?”
Different priorities. Unfulfilled expectations – sometimes unspoken too. Lies. Taking the other for granted. Constant fault-finding. A lack of respect. Cheating. Comparisons. Abuse. Neglect. Disinterest. All work to kill love.
People walk away and often that seems the brave thing to do. Most often people stay in relationships – unhealthy, clingy relationships. Relationships that suck the marrow out of our bones.
Why do we stay? Perhaps, we lack both the strength and courage that Lao Tzu associates with love.
But what if we don’t walk away? What if we stay and do the most courageous thing of all? Re-invent our way of relating to each other.
Stay – not because of societal pressure or for the sake of children – but because we want to give this relationship a fresh chance.
What if we started with a clean slate?
What if we admitted that we were wrong in the way we related to one another?
What if we changed our priorities and made the other our priority?
What if we looked to each other of strength and courage to start over?
What if we made space for healing and grace?
What if we gave love another chance? Will we allow love to bloom again?
Loving and being loved. It’s never easy. But worth us giving it our all.
Would you agree?
Today I join Janine Ripper and Mackenzie Glanville and some other cool bloggers for #FridayReflections.
The writing prompts for this week’s Friday Reflections are:
What is your guilty pleasure?
Reflect on how exercise has made an impact on your life.
What motivates you to make positive changes in your life?
Reflect on the following quote:“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. Lao Tzu”
I’m also joining the MidLifeLuv Link up hosted by Kimberly Montgomery of Fifty Jewels and Elena of Living With Batman