Posted in [witchcraft & wonder], [witchy reviews]

Ethics: Love

These questions are found at the end of Chapter 4: Love in When, Why… If by Robin Wood.

[Previous posts in this Ethics series include: Personal Ethics: an introduction, Ethics: Honesty, and Ethics: Self.]

Introduction

Love is an important topic to me, at least for my spirituality. Almost four years ago, I found myself experiencing polyamory in an enormous spurt of personal growth. I not only loved more than one person, but I loved big and strong and unfettered. I found myself unable to see love as a one-to-one measurable thing, like society had taught me; instead, I was enamored with life and people and the Universe at large.

Love comes in so many shades and nuances. I love my best friend as a sister, because our personalities meld naturally. I love the men in my life, because they fill parts of myself and help me find purpose. I love others based on parts they play in my Big Story, even when their part is harmful to my short-term self. Even those who interact with me with violence and hate have my love; they push my toward growth, and I can’t help but love them for it.

[1] When someone tells me they love me, I think they mean…

…that they feel happiness in my presence.

Obviously, different people will feel different levels of love in that sense. However, I believe love is all about finding happiness in the presence of others. That’s why I embraced polyamory (many loves) so readily; I was born to love big.

[2] I react to this by…

…feeling happiness that I cause them happiness.

I like to feel like a positive influence in someone else’s life. It doesn’t matter what level of influence I hold; what matters is that it’s positive enough to be vocalized and valued by the person experiencing it.

[3] When I tell someone I love them, I usually mean…

…that they make me happy.

I share the words “I love you” openly, far more so than I was taught as a child. I say them to family, friends, lovers, and even acquaintances when it feels right. Sometimes everyone just needs a moment to be loved, and I have no problem with voicing my happiness at their existence.

[4] I expect them to react by…

…understanding what I mean.

Generally, I measure my proclamations of love against the relationship we have and decide if they’d understand that “I love you” isn’t a commitment, a trap, or anything binding. It’s just an expression of the joy they create in my life. If that may be misunderstood, I’ll use some other way (rather than the words) to express how that person makes me feel.

[5] I have no trouble believing that others love me. True or False?

True!

[6] This is because…

…I was lucky enough to be raised in a loving household. I’ve felt lonely and lost many times in my life, but I’ve always known I’m lovable (even if I’m not currently feeling loved). There’s also this ridiculously objective part of me that labels my good traits as love-worthy and refuses to let me feel unlovable.

[7] I am comfortable/uncomfortable with this because…

…I’m comfortable, because I think it’s healthy to know you’re lovable, especially when it seems like no one in your life is actively in love with you. You need to love yourself and know yourself to be worthy of love.

[8] I want to change/don’t want to change the way I think about love, because…

…I don’t want to change, because (again) I think I have a healthy outlook. I’m a well-adjusted adult who feels love, shares love, and enjoys love.

[9] When Robin tells us to love everyone, she means…

…that everyone is worthy of love in some form. Love doesn’t have to be tied into lust, commitment, or other feelings. Sometimes you can just love someone for existing, as they play a part in the Big Picture of the universal design. Even the assbutts play their part by reminding you to not be an assbutt.

[10] I think I can/don’t think I can do this, because…

…I think I can do this, because I’ve made it a personal mission to demonstrate patience and love of humanity toward strangers. I want to be the light I wish to see in the world, and I hope it rubs off on people.

Final Thoughts

We had an interesting debate in class on this topic. Do you have to love people who do only negative things in their lives? If you believe that loving everyone (in some way) is necessary as part of the Universal Balance, then you can’t pick and choose; that means you would have to love both Hitler and your mother, the rapist and the Dalai Lama. Everyone, good and bad, plays a part in the Big Picture. Balance requires it.

It’s just an interesting thing to ponder. After all, it’s one thing to speak of loving humanity and seeking balance… it’s a whole ‘nother thing to actually accept that love into yourself.

Author:

bookdragon, poet, witch

2 thoughts on “Ethics: Love

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