Red Flag

13:55


You dictate the life of a person so you can feel secure, steady. As long as you hold these keys, keys you violently took, you feel like a person. Your hypocrisy is seen and felt and diminishes the respect those around you have of you. Strange that you can be strongly disliked so quickly. Even stranger that you cannot find an ounce of humility to apologize. But is it really that strange?

Red flags can be subtle, almost inconsequential actions and/or words, but there's a recurring pattern, of gaslighting, disrespecting boundaries, self-centredness. Everything is an offence. People express healthy jealousy, but this one requires that you be left empty, alienated. A phone call can never just be a phone call, a smile is flirtation, a greeting is a wanton invitation. 
Why do you need to exert control and power over another person?  Why do you sweat to connect love and violence together? You must understand love as self-sacrifice. Self. Sacrifice. It is not a sacrifice that is imposed. Demanded. Commanded. Manipulated. Love is the will (the choice) to think beyond yourself, your feelings, in order to nurture your own and another's spiritual growth. You cannot claim to love if you are hurtful and abusive. Love and abuse cannot co-exist. [Do not ] cling to a notion of love that either makes abuse acceptable or at least makes it seem that whatever happened was not that bad.*

A red flag is what it is.  It's a warning you mustn’t ignore. You don't ignore things in the hopes of them becoming better. Bad behaviours don’t retreat into oblivion; they grow bolder and greater and become destructive. Love doesn’t ignore red flags out of fear. It illuminates and confronts them. 
As long as you desire to exert power and control over another person, or an aspect of an individual, you will never know what love is. Love is not enduring the abusive control of another in order to show loyalty and faithfulness and trust. "All too often women believe it is a sign of commitment, an expression of love, to endure unkindness or cruelty, to forgive and forget. In actuality, when we love rightly we know that the healthy, loving response to cruelty and abuse is putting ourselves out of harm's way."*  That's not to say that people and relationships are disposable, and when something within the relationship is not functional it's tossed aside. It is good to recognize when something is no longer healthy, when behaviours and actions are no longer exercised to nurture another, but rather to control and destroy their will. 

When a person tells you that everything starts with them, leads to them and ends with them, there is no room for mutual growth. A relationship cannot thrive on self-centredness. It is not a place where we extract what we need. We pour into it what we desire. So when someone seeks to exert control and power over your choices, playing the authority of how your will ought or ought not be exercised, it is not a place you'll flourish. Dysfunctional relationships can be transformed into healthy, nurturing ones, but do not maintain dysfunction for the sake of connectedness and fear of being alone. 



                                                                         *SoulTea*



*All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks.
pic from @willyverse

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