Day 4: Give and take.
Henri, Set Boundaries to Your Love:
When people show you their boundaries (“I can’t do this for you”), you feel rejected. You cannot accept the fact that others are unable to do for you all that you expect from them. You desire boundless love, boundless care, boundless giving.
Part of your struggle is to set boundaries to your own love – something you have never done. You give whatever people ask of you, and when they ask for more, you give more, until you find yourself exhausted, used, and manipulated. Only when you are able to set your own boundaries will you be able to acknowledge, respect, and even be grateful for the boundaries of others.
In the presence of the people you love, your needs grow and grow, until those people are so overwhelmed by your needs that they are practically forced to leave you for your own survival.
The great task is to claim yourself for yourself, so that you can contain your needs within the boundaries of your self and hold them in the presence of those you love. True mutuality in love requires people who possess themselves and who can give to each other while holding on to their own identities. So, in order both to give more effectively and to be more self-contained with your needs, you must learn to set boundaries to your love.
Henri, Give Gratuitously:
Your love, insofar as it is from God, is permanent. You can claim the permanence of your love as a gift from God. And you can give that permanent love to others. When others stop loving you, you do not have to stop loving them. On a human level, changes might be necessary, but on the level of the divine, you can remain faithful to your love.
One day also you will be free to give gratuitous love, a love that does not ask for anything in return. One day also you will be free to receive gratuitous love. Often love is offered to you, but you do not recognize it. You discard it because you are fixed on receiving it from the same person to whom you gave it.
The great paradox of love is that precisely when you claimed yourself as God’s beloved child, have set boundaries to your love, and thus contained your needs, you begin to grow into the freedom to give gratuitously.
A very few amount of thoughts tonight. Let’s consider it a mid-week Shabbat.
Today I’m hearing loud and clear that Henri is coming from a very personal, contextual place.
Today I hear these “you”s directed at his own heart, speaking to his own journey.
But this below does challenge me, because I am not wired for this kind of grace given authentically…
And at the same time, the attempts to continue loving can lead to hurt as well.
When others stop loving you, you do not have to stop loving them.