Finding the Freedom in Love

Woman stabbed to death on Red Line in domestic attack. 

How many times have we heard of stories like that of Jessica Hampton’s? How many people do we know are involved in domestically violent relationships? How many abusive relationships have you, yourself been involved in? The number is countless, no matter which question is answered.

pos·ses·sive
pəˈzesiv/
adjective
  1. 1.
    demanding someone’s total attention and love.
    “as soon as she’d been out with a guy a few times, he’d get possessive”
    synonyms: proprietorial, overprotective, controlling, dominating, jealous, clingy

    “he was very possessive”

     

Companionship can be such a beautiful thing, whether it be romantic or platonic. Who doesn’t enjoy the company of someone who adores them, respects them, and the feeling that comes with belonging to someone? “You are mine, I am yours.” However, crossing over to the dark side of possessiveness is extremely common in many relationships. In fact, what most people call normal in a relationship, actually is the dark side.. Words like security, tenacity, unshakable, steadfast all sound so…right, right? Yeah, these words, or characteristics rather, sound marvelous, until they are attached to words like jealous, clinging, selfish, or controlling. This is a dangerous zone, that can quite possibly lead to a violent, or deadly situation. Please get help and GET OUT if you are in this type of relationship!

Growing up, I lived in a household where dominance and control were taken to the extreme. I was taught through the traditions of a religion where submissiveness and obedience were strongly encouraged as the woman’s role. When you add all of these components to a relationship, where does the freedom go? Where does the individuality go? It’s extremely hard to be authentic in a relationship where you constantly have to fit a mold that goes against your original design. Someone once told me that the love I was labeling ‘unconditional’, came with too many conditions. It wasn’t until then that I realized I was doing it wrong.

To the degree that we are creative, growing persons,
our love is full of surprises rather than governed by expectations.
If we find ourselves in the rut of customary activities,
then we know that freedom and flexibility have disappeared.
For instance, if we always share certain meals or always sleep together,
then the openness of our early love has been replaced by patterns,
which might become expectations,
which might in turn become obligations—or even burdens.
Love may only be freely given, not expected or demanded.
Demands yield not love but duty—perhaps unwilling duty. – James Leonard Park, ‘Loving in Freedom’

“You’re suffocating me.”
“You’re too intense.”
“Stop trying to change me.”
“I have to learn on my own.”
“I need a break”….

These are all things that I’ve been told in failed relationship, after failed relationship. Just because you love someone deeply, and shower someone with constant affection doesn’t always mean that its harmless. There is a such thing as ‘going too hard’ in a relationship. You can get so caught up in patterns, and what you feel are customary ideas of the future, that you lose the balance between the two of you. Your train has pretty much derailed, because you’re no longer in a freeing, loving relationship, but an obligation building slowly upon the fear of hurting the other person by letting go.

From the freest place in my being, I love you.
And I want you always to be completely free.
Do you love me today because you freely choose this relationship?
I do not want you to come to me because of my expectation
or because you feel the pressure of my demand, the burden of my need.
I want you, yes, but I only want you if you freely give yourself to me.
I will never possess you; you will be forever free. – James Leonard Park, ‘Loving in Freedom

In order to find the freedom in love, you might have to unlearn everything you were ever taught about love to begin with. Personally, my soul no longer desires to be held down by the mundane traditions in which I was taught love was all about. No, my soul desires to be loved in its most authentic and freest state, I wish to forever be free in love.

P.S. – Rest easy and rest freely, Jessica Hampton

 

Written by Tamica Nicole © 2016
Photo Credit: Suffocating Mind by Catliv

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