"I love you, and because I love you, I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than adore me for telling you lies." --Pietro AretinoSo, this is going to be fun.
I love passionately. Almost insanely. My family and friends are precious to me and therefore, my love and adoration for them is intense and sometimes, irrational.
For those of you who have family and friends that you cherish, you know that your love often creates in you a desire to protect them from harm. Protect them at all cost. You would do anything to help them. You would climb the tallest mountain, cross the deepest ocean, battle the fiercest giant to save the ones you care for and love. Yeah, I know I teeter on the edge of melodramatic but seriously, you would. Me, too.
Love creates a desperation within us. A fierce, consuming desperation to help facilitate the best for those we love. An indescribable ache to guard them, save them, preserve them. We encourage those we love to be better than we were, do more than we did, to look forward and accomplish the greatness we know they are capable of.
As a rebellious teenager, I can remember my parents struggling to protect me. Ironically, not from danger, but from myself. I was a train wreck of hormones and stupidity. They tried. They did everything they knew to do. They cried. They yelled. They prayed. But no matter what they did, no matter how they did it, I saw them as mean, narrow-minded, judgmental and antiquated. They made me sick. During those years, I didn't think they loved me. And I hated them.
Then, something amazing happened. I grew up. And along the way, I learned some really hard lessons, faced some unspeakable realities and experienced moments that can never be undone or erased. But at the end of the day, I realized that my parents had been right about everything. Well, almost everything. I discovered they hadn't operated out of hatred or meanness, but out of love and deep concern. My parents were desperate to keep me safe and protect my mind, heart and body. There were times when they gave up and gave in just to try to appease me. And guess what, it didn't work. I was a rebel without a cause and determined to live life by my own set of rules and on my own terms.
Yeah, I shudder to think of those days...
Ultimately, I pulled myself together. Well, as together as a girl can be.
And at the end of what I refer to as my own personal "dark ages", my loving, gray haired parents were there waiting, with arms opened wide, welcoming their prodigal daughter back into the fold.
You see, looking back, I saw my parent's protective notions, curfews, boyfriend guidelines, academic pressures and much needed discipline in my life as judgment, intolerance and unloving. I can remember thinking that if they really loved me, they would want me to be happy, right?
Loving someone involves much more than just wanting them to be happy. Loving someone requires caring more about their well-being than the relationship the two of you share. That is why love sometimes involves sacrifice.
Love isn't easy or simple or even fun. Love is hard. Hard as hell.
And the world has completely perverted the notion of love. The world has packaged lust and acceptance and pawned them off as love. People have traded in the idea of forever and settled for the temporary pleasure of the immediate. The world has convinced our easily satisfied humanity with the notion that love is in the songs we hear, the movies we watch, the wine we drink, the strangers we meet via social media.
The world has also redefined love as tolerance. The world screams, "if you love me, you will agree with me".
Doesn't that make y'all all warm and fuzzy?
Cute, huh? Because trust me, if the truth were known, the world hates love.
So, let me be clear: if the world defines love as total and unabated acceptance of all behavior and philosophy, then I am not loving.
If the world concludes that love is me condoning the choices of all people around me, then, no, I am not capable of love.
In fact, if those are the secular conditions, I would definitely say that I am unable, and unwilling, to love as defined by the world.
And here's why...
I will not condone abortion. Ever. For no reason. So, if that means I hate those involved in the abortion practices of this world and the politicians seeking to protect and expand the atrocity, so be it. I pray for them but will not accept their behavior.
I will not apologize for believing that marriage is between a man and a woman. Ever. So, if the world sees that that means that I hate gay people, so be it. I love them enough to pray for them and fear God enough to respect His sacred institution. If that means I am hateful, so be it.
I will not politely accept that a confused boy or man is welcome into the ladies restroom with myself or my daughter. Ever. If you have a penis, please use the urinals located in the gentlemen's restroom. If you were born with a vagina, please, take it like a champ and precariously hover over the nasty potties of the ladies' room. Let's leave how "you feel in your head" out of this and base our public bathroom usage on our natural plumbing. If this makes me hate-filled, so be it.
I will not abandon the belief that Israel has a divine right to exist. Ever. So, if that means I hate the Palestinians and other displaced Arabs, so be it.
I will not redefine good stewardship and responsible spending in order to sound kind and compassionate. Nope. Life simply isn't fair. There will always be the haves and the have nots. So, if my unwillingness to sit silently while our nation spends itself into a devastating pit of debt means I hate poor people, so be it.
I will not condemn all law enforcement officers as racists based on the misbehavior or rash responses of a few policemen. Not all black men are criminals. Just like not all white cops are racist, profiling aggressors. So, if my defense of our nation's police forces makes me a racist, so be it.
I will not condone the burning of bras, the contrived War on Women or the notion that female equality is only possible by tearing men down. That's asinine. I've been embarrassed of my gender for some time now. So, if my belief that women enjoy tremendous freedom and societal control in modern America and that we, women, are shooting ourselves in the foot by acting like hormonal toddlers, so be it.
I will not blame American foreign policy for the murderous behavior of terrorists. September 11, 2001 was not "our chickens coming home to roost", thank you very much Jeremiah Wright. It was cold-blooded murder and terrorism. Terrorists, whether al Qaeda, Hamas, ISIS, Boka Haran or Iran are evil and demon possessed. We can't negotiate with them, change them or sign diplomatic non-proliferation treaties with them. Sure, I pray for them. Sometimes. When it doesn't nauseate me. I pray that they lay their weapons down and quit committing their heinous acts. But God, even in His infinite mercy used war and warriors to cleanse the world of certain people. We have to defeat and rid the world of the terrorists and their mentality. So, if that means I hate them, so be it.
To be honest y'all, I sort of feel like my parents felt all those years ago. I have the best intentions and the purest of hearts and only want the best for everyone around me. But no matter what I do, what I say or how I say it, some perceive me as filled with hate and judgment. I feel like my sweet parents--spinning my wheels and desperately trying to save someone who doesn't want to be saved.
I see now how hard it is to love someone who hates you. I see how difficult it is love someone enough to speak truth into their life knowing how high the cost of your vulnerability will be.
If truth is judgmental, then, I am judgmental. If kind compassion but devout belief is intolerance, then, I am intolerant.
And if you see all of this as me hating people, then, yeah, I guess I do. If my views are your idea and definition of hate, then, I suppose I am just as hateful, mean and vile as some of you think I am.
So, yeah, by the world's definition, I guess I hate people. There, I said it. You don't have to anymore.