Tuesday, March 05, 2013
As I have mentioned earlier, I was raised in a cult. And, in the cult emotions were typically viewed as bad. The only good emotion was joy, because it focused on the Lord. Happiness was considered a sin because it was a fleshly emotion that relied on circumstances to be good. But, joy was dependent on our relationship with God, not our circumstances.
In the same way, love was categorized as a choice and not an emotion. We were taught that if you had romantic feelings about someone it was a fleshly manifestation of infatuation and a sin. Love was a choice. Love was defined as "giving to another's basic needs without having a reward as my motive" or something to that effect. I don't remember the exact wording now.
However, I am coming to realize that this was also a false teaching. I married my only boyfriend. We met when I was about 22. I had no interest in guys as a teenager. In fact, looking at a guy in the wrong way or for any length of time could get me into trouble. I was at ease with my brother's friends. But, any other guys I didn't know how to interact with. When I went to college, I was around guys for the first time in my life. And, in a situation where interaction was encouraged. This was a first for me, and I think it was a few months before I really had a conversation with a guy. After a couple years, I did break the mold and had a few guy friends, but never dated any of them.
So, now, it may seem crazy, but I measure love based on how much it would hurt to lose something or someone. I really don't know if this is a good measure of love. But, I reason that if it would not hurt to lose someone or something then I didn't love them. I would be devastated if something happened to my husband or if he left for some reason.
I have also come to realize that happiness is not a sin. I am usually pretty happy with my life. Although, I have struggled with depression for many years now. But, it doesn't result in unhappiness.
But, I'm still not sure what love is. I have no feelings associated with anything. In fact, I have not allowed myself to feel anything for many, many years. When I was growing up, if I wasn't cheerful and smiling, then I would get into trouble. At work, everyone sees me as this really cheerful, upbeat person, but I'm not really that bubbly. I'd much rather fade into the background and not have anyone notice me than be in the forefront of attention.