love less

Did she really just say what I think she said? I know she meant a different sentiment than what came out. She feels protective. She doesn’t want to see me get hurt. That was what she was trying to communicate.

But the message that came through was more like, “I wish you wouldn’t love so much.”

Honestly, I understand the instinct.

I am a tenderhearted person. I have struggled with this and against this for much of my life. But thankfully I can say I have never been able to shake it.

I grew up thinking there was something wrong with me, that I was too sensitive. I had too many emotions. I was exhausting to those around me.

Sometimes I have wondered if this quality is really just foolishness. Naivety that has never grown up. A Pollyanna everyone puts up with and then laughs at and makes fun of when I am out of earshot.

So my friend wants me to do what I have been tempted to do many times. Pull back. Build up some walls of protection. Wise up and realize people hurt one another. The world is a dangerous place to live.

And there is nothing wrong with using discernment. But I don’t think I serve myself or anyone else well by closing up. Because in my opinion, what the world does NOT need is more closed, hardened people.

But the innate reflex to protect oneself is there nonetheless. And my friend wants to protect me, too. And I understand that.

Because love is foolish and free. In any form.

And watching me love foolishly and freely, and then get hurt because other people are imperfect human beings (it has been known to happen) can make others uncomfortable, make them squirm. “Protect yourself,” they might like to tell me. “It’s a harsh world out there.”

And they would be right. The world can be an incredibly harsh environment. I would be wise to toughen up a bit. But I would also be less alive. Less connected to myself and others. I would be controlled and conformed and twisted to hardness. And I would lose who I am. My heart and my soul.

(You guys know I have been tying up loose ends from last year. Posts that got started and maybe even finished but never posted. This one is from last summer after a visit from an out of town friend. Ironically, last night I went to a Brene Brown workshop called Hustle for Worthiness at Potentia Therapy that completely affirms this post. Timely to wrap up this loose end now.)

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6 thoughts on “love less

  1. free penny press says:

    Interesting post.. While I think your friends have your best interests at heart, one should never limit the love they feel and extend to the universe. When you do that, then it diminishes what is returned to us. I think (purely my opinion) we need to learn to love without expectation. We as people have been conditioned to expect certain behaviors from people in exchange for our love for them. No expectations=No disappointments.

    My apologies for the long comment, but I too have a mighty heart and as I have gotten older I have tried to genuinely love all people & things without expectations.. so far so good 🙂

    • Rebecca Koo says:

      Nice Lynne! I don’t mind long comments at all. Plus, I respect you trememdously so you are always welcome to share what you think here! You have a great point here. One thing I have realized lately is that love, in it’s essence, is a free gift (theoretically without strings/expectations) right? So if I find myself dissappointed perhaps I need to check the authenticity of my love (or my current understanding of what love is – sometimes I forget and attach earning power to love). What do you think?

  2. Kristal Johnson says:

    I love this post because I can relate to it. Constantly, I’m being told I’m “too much.” My thoughts, emotions, love…everything is just too much. But, I love how God designed me and yes, it would be wise to “toughen up a bit,” but then I wouldn’t be me and I like who I am – The wife who enjoys feel good movies, even when her husband is dying of cheesiness inside, the mom who kisses and kisses and kisses some more, and the friend/ who spills her thoughts and emotions.

    I can already tell that my daughter is a little mini-me. =) Lately, she’s been falling down while trying to climb toys, furniture, and well, all sorts of things. The other day, she lightly bonked her head on the play mat after falling down and started to cry. For a second, I thought, “Man, this girl needs to toughen up. She barely hit her head.” I picked her up and said, “You’re okay sweetie. You’re okay.” But then I realized, I was doing the same thing to Makenzie that people do to me.

    “Kristal, you’re okay. Stop crying. You’re being dramatic.”

    I don’t know how she’s feeling and I shouldn’t tell her how to feel. So, now when she’s crying, I just kiss and hug her. Because all she needs is a little love and someone to understand. I can handle this. =)

    You taught me this Rebecca Koo! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

    • Rebecca Koo says:

      You are a great mom, Kristal!!! You are a beautiful soul as is your sweet daughter! How lucky she is to have such an understanding mom to cheer her on through life! I love you dear one!!!

  3. OK, I saw this for the first time on a laptop to notice the pic!! ❤ it!!

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