The tenderness of tough love

tough love3

Ive never been really good at the whole “tough love” thing because in truth it probably hurts me more than it hurts the other person

WHAT IS tough love ?

By definition its … “promotion of a persons welfare, especially that of an addict, child or criminal by enforcing certain constraints on them, or requiring them to take responsibility for their actions”

Obviously this is why Ive struggled with tough love in the past because in truth Ive often struggled to do the right thing for myself, let alone for other people

But why is wanting the best for ourselves and others considered to be tough love ?

Most likely because when we enforce constraints and set clear boundaries we limit a persons choice. This will then either be the beginning of a positive change OR all hell will break loose, which is when the going can start to get a little rough

Sometimes our tensions and conflicts are a result of our own internal bullshit

Other times its because of someone elses bullshit

The tricky part is determining whose bullshit we are actually dealing with

When it comes to my maturing KIDS …

Tough love has been needed to reinforce respect and responsibility. My triggers being the guilt trips and blame games of divorce. A choice that still haunts me, causing self doubt and over the years has shattered my confidence as both a mother and a woman. My hurts being based around my fear of loosing my children and watching them choose the harder path

When it comes to my FAMILY & FRIENDS …

Tough love has been needed to reinforce my boundaries. My triggers being uncomfortable reflections of my own unhealthy habits or patterns. A choice that can cause more self doubt and chip away at my confidence some more. My hurts being based around criticism, judgements and lost connections when Ive spoken or lived my truth

When it comes to my LOVE LIFE …

Tough love has been needed to reinforce my self respect, self dignity, self worth and self love. My triggers being those uncomfortable feelings of rejection and being of less importance in their order of priorities. Walking away from men who declare love, while their actions express otherwise is a choice that still challenges me. Over the years its caused even more self doubt and destroyed what little confidence I had left. My hurts being based around my thoughts of not being enough and my fear of being alone and unloved

YES … at the heart of ALL my hurts are my own fears

YES … I’m much tougher on myself than I am on you

People often tell me that I think TOO much, but in truth if I’m unable to identify my own triggers, hurts and fears then I would be oblivious to my own thoughts, feelings and actions and therefore unaware of how my choices shape my experiences

HOW can we then change something we dont understand ?

Does having insight and being self aware make tough love any easier ?

Fuck NO !!!

Being consciously aware can seriously suck balls because once we have awoken, we can no longer escape ourselves. We no longer gain satisfaction from avoiding or denying our truth because we are only satisfied when we are living it

The truth is I am a woman with a soft heart who sometimes has to do tough things, but I am far from being a tough woman. The truth is I am not always a strong woman who has the courage to do what needs to be done with confidence. The truth is I am a woman who still confronts her own challenges and dances with her own demons. The truth is I am a woman who chooses to free herself from any hurts and fears that hold her back

But I believe as a woman, I am strong and courageous in my softness

I believe that a woman committed to her own personal growth and development will make sacrifices far greater than her expectations because she embraces the lessons

So, WHAT are my lessons ?

I’m learning that my change and growth effects everyone else around me

I’m learning that when we change for the better other people will be inspired to change too, but only after challenging us to stop growing

I’m learning that understanding my hurts helps me to appreciate the value of hurtful experiences, which is changing how I experience it

“When we dont allow others to suffer the consequences of their actions, we cripple them emotionally. We deprive them of the ability to learn from their mistakes. We also take away their ability to overcome their problems and change their life for the better” (Randi G Fine)

Is it easy choosing not to protect those we love from experiences that may hurt ?

Is it easy choosing to take a step back and allow others to learn their lessons ?

Is it easy choosing to let go of something we want ?

Is it easy choosing to walk away from something we need ?

Fuck NO !!!

Tough love hurts my foot as much as it hurts your ass

fly

Its an unbearable feeling to be the one who kicks our children out of the nest because it goes against everything we are as loving and supportive mothers. Its an uncomfortable feeling to be the one who decides that her growth is more important than maintaining unhealthy friendships and relationships

But take heed …

There is nothing tough about choosing LOVE

Its only tough when we are motivated by our FEARS

When we choose to love and respect ourselves we are not only showing others how to treat us, but we also support others to love and respect themselves

When we maintain healthy boundaries we are not only choosing to communicate that we value ourselves, but we also show others how to live and love with more integrity

When we take complete responsibility for ourselves, we also encourage others to take personal responsibility for themselves

When we stand confidently in our truth we support others to do the same

LOVE and SUPPORT is not just about our willingness to listen and give good advice or walk with others through troubles

It is about who WE are and how WE choose to live our own lives

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