Friday, October 21, 2016

Love and Appreciation

Dearly Beloved,
    When I wrote to you last about Love Tanks, I left out mention of Appreciation. It is debatable that this is a fifth Love Tank, but I eventually decided it was not. Even if it was a tank, I do not consider it as falling under a definition of love for a few reasons.
    First, it's always separate when we use it in language, We say "loved and appreciated" and not "love is appreciation." Second, Love requires two parties, but only one is required to act. Appreciation, on the other hand, indicates a return, meaning two parties need to act. Third reason is that it's relationship to the love languages and love tanks is unique. While it acts like a tank in that it can be drained, it can also drain all of the love tanks. It also is filled by any of the love languages, but which one is dependent on the situation.
    Something you must consider is an interesting paradox. It's good to give and receive appreciation, but bad to want it. The reason behind this is that the former can focus the attention on the other party in a good light, but the latter focuses on your self and can place the other party in a negative light, negatively impacting your ability to love. That negativity not only damages your relationships, but also drains your love tanks, making you depressed and lonely.

    Remember though that appreciation itself is good. The thing that is bad is the feeling of entitlement. If you think about it, it can be quite often that you perform an act of love with no expectation of a reward. Instead you act because you love, focusing solely on the receiving party. However, once the idea that you should be rewarded enters your head, you begin to take those acts of love and focus on yourself rather than your beloved. By transforming the acts of love into fuel for entitlement, you become bitter. This is true with all senses of entitlement. For the sake of your soul and happiness, you need to drop the selfish-feeding desires of entitlement and just let them happen or not.

    Now I know this is difficult, especially for me. When there is injustice or abuse of rights, I become very angry or depressed. However, I believe it is helpful to start dismantling your ideas of entitlement one by one, hopefully making it to just the core rights, things you need in order to become a better human being. If you can go beyond that, your ability to forgive will be divine.

    Whether you believe or not, actually practicing Christians have an advantage here. This is because they have a perfect model as a result of their beliefs. God should be entitled to praise, honor, and respect, but instead people mocked, scoffed, and executed him in an excruciating manner. Yet, instead of condemning these people, God spoke words of forgiveness and proceeded to suffer and die for them. When you believe that, it should have a profound impact on your senses of entitlement.
    If you examine it even further, even though Jesus displayed no sense of entitlement, he still fought for the rights of others and rebuked their oppressors. The point is that he was not selfish, but loving, according to Christian beliefs. When you believe all of those things, there is no greater role model of love.

With Love,
N. D. Moharo

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