Being loved is a warm, protective feel that lulls you into a blanket of security, a haven you can withdraw to when you need to recharge and relax. Being respected, on the other hand, can make you feel truly powerful; knowing someone respects you can give you the strength to move mountains to prove worthy of that regard! Together, these emotions can take you to the top of the world! Each of us aspires to be liked, loved and respected. Love, however, is not something you set out to find; it happens. Finding love is more or less left to Destiny.
We are taught to dutifully show respect and love, even if grudgingly, to a parent, child, relative, teacher or spouse, whether or not we think they deserve it. However as we grow up, we learn to sift the wheat from the chaff. Now, respect needs to be earned and well-deserved.
What is in the words of “I love you” if there is no respect? It is so easy these days to say I love you. We can say it through singing telegrams, flowers, candy, gifts, chocolate and even text messages now. Even phone conversations often end with a little “I love you” as we run to our next action for the day. The question is do you really love and respect your partner? Do you respect your partner the way you want to be respected?
How many times can we say I love and yet refuse to listen? How many times can we say ‘I love you’ and criticize our partner’s their thoughts or actions if they are not like ours. Showing true love in our lives to our partners and family begins with respect. It is sustained with continual appreciation and respect for that special person in our lives.
A relationship built on a foundation of mutual respect between partners is one that opens to freedom. It is a relationship that encourages the other person to grow and flourish in their environment. Respect, like trust, is often earned, especially if it has been violated. However, it can be restored in a relationship that has been broken.
You may have bid goodbye to respect; love has changed shape and adapted itself to the new circumstances. But ask someone who has lost respect in the eyes of a loved one even though he is still cared for! He will regret the loss of respect with a searing pain, and no longer be able to take comfort in the embers of love that still remain… To be loved without being respected is a poor substitute for the all-encompassing passion that consumes your very being when it is fired by both love and respect!
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