It is very easy to love people when things are going your way. When the good feelings flow naturally and things are fun, it is easy to love someone. But when they begin to fail you in some way, it is easy to turn to jealousy or anger. When this occurs, it is a sign that it is time to self-reflect. The questions become about you, and not the person you feel angry with. The feelings you have say more about you, and your world view, then about the other person.
It takes spiritual courage to let people be who they are and to love them anyway. It is easy to get disappointed and to walk away from a relationship, but it takes courage and will power to do self-examination and then decide to let go of your right to be right and then choose to love the person anyway.
It’s difficult to admit to things like: I feel jealous. I feel ownership. I feel wronged. I feel stupid. It’s difficult to be kind and say things like: I want that person to be happy. I love that person and it is worth it to let go. I release you from my expectations and I accept what you can give, however limited that may be. I accept the reality of this situation, and I chose to continue loving you, even if you cannot reciprocate.
I am not talking about excusing some else’s physical or emotional abuse. I am suggesting that sometimes it is good to look within. What is it about me that I need to find fault? What is it about me, that wants my friend to not have other friends? Why do I find it difficult to ask for help? Why can’t I ask for my needs to be met? Why do I continue to expect that person to change? Why do I seek love or approval from someone who is not capable of giving it to me?
Maturity requires us to love in courageous ways. It does not require us to stay in abusive or heartbreaking situations. Spiritual maturity may lead us to let go, and to have gratitude for the time we journeyed with that person. It may lead us to talk to the other person, ask for what we want, and seek reconciliation. At other times spiritual maturity may leads to the path of acceptance where in a nonjudgmental way, we decide to tame our anger and our expectations, and we concede. The moment we concede, we are free to love the person for who are they are, with all their strengths and foibles.
Spiritually mature concession does not come from a stance of moral superiority or of tolerance. You do not make this choice because you feel you are better than the other person. Instead it comes from a place of love. Letting go of unspoken demands is a gift to both the giver and the receiver, allowing kindness to flow instead of anger. You replace your desire with gratitude and acceptance. You let go and you are thankful to this person for being your very good teacher.
You are thankful for the way they have caused you to self-reflect and grow as a person. You are thankful for the forces that put them in your life. You are thankful for the way they help you to mature spiritually.