Driving south on the 101, just before I got to the 110, I passed a building I never noticed before. Spray-painted on the side: “You deserve the right kind of love.” I felt comforted, but wondered, “what is the right kind of love? Is the right kind different for me than for others?”
Later that day, I met with Rita and Peter (names changed) who are getting married next year at a 5-star resort. Rita’s parents are divorced and her father is footing the entire bill. Only catch — if she invites her mother, he won’t pay for the wedding.
Rita wants a wedding that will blow people away, but since her father is paying for it all, what can she do? Her father has put her in a seemingly hopeless situation. So, she’s caved and isn’t inviting her mother who lives in Florida. She’ll have a vow renewal down there sometime after her honeymoon.
Actually, though, Rita’s dad hasn’t put her in a hopeless position. Rita has a choice and she’s chosen to compromise. So, to lessen her guilt, she’s chosen to believe she’s caught in a hopeless predicament.
A couple of days later, while waiting for a haircut, I glanced through an Esquire Magazine interview with the actor Tom Hardy (Dark Knight Rises and scores of films). The guy stunned me with this quote: “I have always been frightened with men, to the point where I couldn’t go into a gym because of the testosterone, and I felt weak. I don’t feel very manly. I don’t feel rugged and strong and capable in real life, not how I imagine a man ought to be. So I seek it, to mimic it and maybe understand it, or maybe to draw it into my own reality. People who are scary, they terrify me, but I can imitate them. I can stay terrified, or I can imitate what terrifies me.”
Then, while procrastinating writing this column by cleaning my desk, I found this quote scribbled on a post-it: “95% of the beliefs we have stored in our minds are nothing but lies and we can suffer because we believe all these lies.” (Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements)
Reflecting on the week’s random moments, I’m now wondering if the “right” kind of love we deserve is the love that allows us to not drive ourselves nuts with self-imposed expectations! A love “right” enough that we can face down the fear that we’ll be harshly judged if we don’t meet those expectations.
Maybe the right kind of love (for self and others) is the love we take responsibility for.
Deserving the right kind of love means we stop feeling helpless.
Please send your questions to JP Reynolds at: firstname.lastname@example.org