Tough Love

How do we discern “tough love?”

Since many of us give it and unconsciously do so out of our own lack of trust, when is it appropriate?

Today, my good friend Maui called me wanting console. He was in the hospital, for his wisdom tooth pain/infection(?). He asked me for some wisdom, a good joke, or some light. I perceive that in the past, I would have fed him through his emotions by consoling him to feel better and telling him it will be o.k. Maybe I would have wanted to jump in and somehow take his pain away by feeling sorry for him…

I realize that whatever I would have said would of been loving, so perhaps “tough love” is appropriate when the intention of love is really present. When we are aware of attachment, and yet not afraid to say what might be of service to them or “we”/us. Tough love is without agenda, manipulation, or fear by the giver, that what will be said will be heard with implicit trust for the greater good and if not, will be considered later down the road, perhaps, or who knows. If we give tough love out of fear and manipulation, there is little doubt that it will come later in return, as something to teach “me” about myself…

Conscious that this was possible, reluctant and nervous by how words might land, I reminded my friend of the buddha who said, “pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.” To some ears, this would have been like saying, “suck it up,” as so often words are misunderstood. What a relief it is to be met with gratitude and to know that words seemingly tough on the ego, can land as they were intended- as love from the heart. And so perhaps, it is also the request, the asking, by way of an open heart communicating, that makes us able to give and receive “tough” love.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Tough Love

  1. That tough love when applied from the heart and pure intention got me through a very terrifying experience. I am forever grateful as it helped me to heal. Thank you Meg for the perfect timing and coming from the heart. Tough love emanating from the Source is very powerful. As Love has many expressions sometimes what appears hard and tough at the time can help us to evolve and grow the most.

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