General romanticism will have you believe that every act of love is a benevolent one; that when we do something out of love that it is automatically categorized as beautiful and comfortable and acceptable. Of course, this notion depends on who you’re talking to. Plenty of parents make decisions for their children out of love. Plenty of children believe that very same decision was born of something much more sinister (just ask the mom who refused to let her toddler eat raw meat, and the resulting tantrum that she captured and posted on Facebook). Doing something out of love can sometimes mean taking decisions in an uncomfortable direction and paint you in an unflattering light. And while it may be a bit of a no-brainer from parent to toddler, it’s different when the person you’re deciding for is yourself.
“I love you, but I love myself more.”
Consider all things equal when thinking of this statement. As unflattering as it sounds, it ought to be the truth. I live by the idea that the only person who has to actually live with your decisions for the rest of your life is you. Anyone apart from you has the power and the choice to disconnect from your decisions… even if they are affected by the consequences. But you, you carry them in the form of whatever direction you take down your chosen path. And while on the surface you might ignore or discard (see: forgive) those choices, the truth is that they never actually leave you. So what happens when you take responsibility for yourself, and make decisions out of love for yourself?
The saying goes that comfort zones are great, but nothing ever grows there. By first embracing the reality that growth can be uncomfortable, perhaps we ease the blow of those decisions born of love. Whether that decision is managing co-dependent environments or people, disengaging from toxic relationships, or taking a long look in the mirror and facing yourself… consider leading with love.