In all ways love must only add to us. It must only add to our stature, self-respect, self-esteem, and self-belief. It must never subtract from us, from any of these, from any of our self-worth. If anything, it must only help evict any doubts we may have regards the person we are. It must only assure us we are better than who we think we are.
We must remember that if someone loves us, they would be willing to make the effort to understand as much. But sometimes we become so desperate to keep their feelings tethered to us that we agree to compromise on these most fundamental of constituents of one’s self. We let release of our control over our individuality, over our individualized identity, over our dignity to them. To someone who loves us. To someone whose love is important to us. We become so overawed by the love they claim to have, by the love they display, that we forget it is as important, if not more, that they also respect and value us as an individual. As the individual identity we are separate from, and outside of our relationship with, them. We allow ourselves to forget that their love cannot substitute for the sense of respect we feel for ourselves. The respect we need to feel for ourselves.
Love and respect aren’t necessarily a package. They don’t necessarily arrive together. Love doesn’t always, or inherently imply respect. It doesn’t always encompass it. It’s a mistaken notion that it probably does. It doesn’t. Respect must be insisted upon if it’s not exhibited.
“Love cannot trump respect. It cannot reduce, replace, sideline, or trivialize it. Love must only heighten, and never exclude it. It’s not enough that someone loves you. They must respect you. True respect is a precursor to true love. Respect must precede love. Insist that it does.”
(c) Mickey Kumra