Amor egoísta/Selfish Love

 

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Una de las primeras lecciones que recibí de los misioneros enseñaba que para amar a cualquier persona primero debía amar a Dios, incluso este es el primer mandamiento: Amarás al Señor tu Dios con todo tu corazón, y con toda tu alma y con toda tu mente (Mateo 22:37). Recuerdo increpar a los élderes y decirles que me era imposible cumplir con ese mandamiento, pues cómo podría amar a alguien quien no conocía y con quien nunca había tenido contacto. Es sabido que ante la disyuntiva de a quién dedicar más tiempo entre la Iglesia, trabajo y familia, las autoridades mormonas instan a elegir la Iglesia, pues de esta manera Dios nos proporcionará el tiempo para compartir con nuestra familia o nos solucionará problemas laborales derivados. En general, la doctrina mormona sugiere entregarnos por completo a la Iglesia, no cuestionando las reglas ni los mandatos de las autoridades. Sugerencia a la cual discrepo

Podría afirmar, sin equivocarme, que sólo hace poco más de un año he empezado a aprender a amar sinceramente. Esto derivado de entender que el amor, para ser rebosante y bonito, debe ser egoísta. ¿A qué me refiero con esto? Sólo cuando comencé a priorizarme fue cuando empezó a sobrarme amor para coHappympartir con los demás. En esta nueva etapa de mi vida me gusta quien soy, lo que hago y los planes que tengo para mi vida. Estoy tranquila y feliz con quien soy. No recuerdo haber tenido una temporada tan larga de relativa paz. No negaré que continúo teniendo momentos de ansiedad, angustia, miedo e incluso tristeza, pero éstos son controlables y con menos frecuencia que hace un par de años, por ejemplo. Me asaltan pensamientos de lo perecedera que será esta etapa, pues, cuando menos me lo espere, volveré a aquella insufrible e inagotable tristeza y soledad. Sin embargo, estoy intentando disfrutar esta temporada cuanto dure. Para poder amar he tenido que quererme a mí primero, gustarme quién soy; saber que mis deseos importan, mis opiniones son válidas y mis preferencias óptimas; saber que es legítimo expresar lo que quiero aunque no siempre resulte como esperaba.

Mi mamá, por ejemplo, no tiene ningún pasatiempo, nunca ha acudido a algún curso o clase, no tiene pasión alguna. Por años su rutina ha sido igual: alistarnos para la escuela, alistarse para el trabajo, trabajar prácticamente todo el día, preparar la comida del día siguiente, ver la telenovela nocturna y el noticiero local, y dormirse. Ha hecho grandes esfuerzos por darnos educación, alimentación, vestimenta e incluso diversión. Ella nos ama, de eso no tengo duda. Sin embargo, creo que si ella tuviese algún pasatiempo o motivación personal, podría tener mucho más amor para mostrarnos y compartirnos. Tal vez, si ella hubiese sido más valiente como para mandar el qué dirán al carajo se hubiese separado de mi papá y cada uno tendría más amor para mí y mis hermanos. Tal vez de esa manera yo podría ser más receptiva al cariño de los demás y no me sentiría incómoda cuando alguien, incluso mis padres, intentan abrazarme o tocarme. Pero estas sólo son conjeturas de una vida que nunca será.Love

Estos últimos meses de mi vida he amado como no lo hacía antes, amo no para tener a las personas contentas, sino porque me hace feliz consentirlos y dedicarles tiempo, es por MI felicidad. Nunca creí que pudiese amar de esta manera, sin vergüenza; que sintiese la necesidad de abrazar y besar a personas, que lo hiciera de manera pública, expuesta a todos y lo que podrían decir de mí; nunca creí que quisiera consentir tanto a alguien y hacerlo feliz porque eso meharía feliz a mí. Nunca me imagine que la felicidad de otras personas repercutiría en mi felicidad, me parecía ilógico.

He conocido personas muy acostumbradas a amar. Tienen muchas relaciones y amistades; te hacen sentir cómoda al estar junto a ellas; intentan mostrarte su amor físicamente; hacen cumplidos continuamente. Yo creo que tienen tanto tiempo sabiendo cómo amar que ahora les resulta sencillo compartir su amor. Yo, en cambio, me siento abrumada cuando tengo tantas personas a quienes amar y a veces, últimamente con más frecuencia, siento que tanto amor no cabe en mi cuerpo y tengo que expresarlo de una u otra manera. Tal vez a ellas se le enseñó a amar desde pequeñas o se les enseñó a amarse desde niñas.

Creo que la Iglesia debería ser más cuidadosa al pedirnos que menospreciemos nuestros gustos, preferencias e incluso opiniones bajo los mandatos de las autoridades, al pedirnos que ante todo antepongamos la Iglesia, pues al entregar todo lo que tenemos y sólo seguir las normas nos convertiríamos en autómatas sin nada más que ofrecer. Jesucristo necesita personas sin miedo a amar, personas creativas, individuos que cuestionen y hagan las preguntas indicadas para reformar la Iglesia de acuerdo a nuestras necesidades y a nuestra época. Personas seguras de sí mismas que sugieran lo que pocos se atreven y, tal vez, lo que el Padre Celestial está necesitando de estos tiempos.


Selfish Love

One of the first lessons that I received from the missionaries taught that to love any person I would first love God; even this is the first commandment: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind (Matthew 22: 37). I remember answering the elders that it was impossible for me to achieve that commandment, because how would I love someone who I don’t know and with whom I have never been in contact. Knowing the dilemma many families have as to whom they should give more time (between the Church, the work, or the family), Mormon authorities propose that we choose the Church, because in this way God will give us the time to share with our family or will solve our work problems. In general, Mormon doctrine suggests that we give ourselves completely to the Church, without object rules or commands from the authorities. I disagree with this recommendation.

I can assure you that, in the last year, I have started to truly love. I have come to understand that love, to be big and beautiful, has to be selfish. What do I mean by this? As soon as I started to prioritize myself, I started to have more love to share with others. In this new stage of my life, I like who I am, what I’m doing, and the plans that AloneI have for my life. I’m calm and happy with who I am. I don’t remember having had such a long phase of relative peace. I won’t deny that I still have times of anxiety, fear, distress, or even sadness, but they aren’t as uncontrollable as they were two years ago. I often worry that this stage is temporary, and that when I less expect it, I’ll back to that unbearable and endless state of sadness and loneliness. However, I’m trying to enjoy this stage of my life while it lasts. To love I had to love me first, and like who I am. I had to know that my wishes matter, my opinions are valid, and my preferences important. I had to know that it is legitimate to express what I want, even when it the results aren’t as I expected.

My mom, by contrast, has no hobbies, she has never gone to any kind of course or class, and she has no kind of passion. Throughout the years her routine has always been the same: get us ready for school, get ready for her job, work almost all day, make the food for the next day, watch the nightly soap opera and the local news, and go to sleep. She has made enormous efforts to give us education, food, clothes, and even fun. She loves us; I don’t doubt that. However, I think if she had any hobby or personal interests, she could have had much more love to show us and share with us. Maybe if she had been more brave to do what she wants without care what people say, she would have divorced my dad, and each of them would have had more love to give me and my brothers. Maybe in that way, I could be more receptive to affection from people and I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable when someone, even my parents, tries to hug me or touch me. But these are just guesses from a life that never would be.

These last months of my life I can love in ways that I haven’t before. I love, not to make people happy, but because it makes ME happy to show them love and spend time with them. It is for MY happiness. I had never believed that I could love in this way, without shame; to feel the urge to hug and kiss people, even in public, exposed to everyone and what they could say about me. I had never imagined that happiness from other people could impact in my happiness, it used to seem illogical to me.Love me

I have met people too regimented to love. They have a lot of relationships and friendships. They make you feel at ease with them, they try to show you their love physically, and they give compliments freely. I think that they have so much practice knowing how to love that now it’s easy for them share love. I, instead, feel overwhelmed when I have many people to love and sometimes, especially recently, feel that all this love doesn’t fit in my body and I have to express it somehow. Maybe those people were taught how to love or how to love themselves since they were children.

I think the Church should be more careful when it asks us to prioritize our desires, preferences, and even opinions below the directives of church authorities and when they ask us to put the Church ahead of everything. If we were to give the Church everything we have and only follow rules as we’re told, we would become robots with nothing more to share. Christ needs people who are unafraid to love, creative people, individuals who question and make the inquiries to convert the Church into the one that we and our generation require. People who have enough self-confidence to suggest what a few people dare: maybe that’s what our Heavenly Father needs from us.

 

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17 Responses

  1. Rob Osborn says:

    What church you going too? In our church (the LDS church) the church is only there to support the priority of the family and family relationships with Hod and each other. I love our LDS church because it takes the backseat in support of my family and relationships.

    • AuntM says:

      Rob – Why do you insist that your experience of the LDS church is the ONLY valid experience of the LDS church? Isn’t it possible that your experience AND the experience of the OP are both valid and true? Just because you feel supported in prioritizing your family doesn’t mean everyone else feels supported. And likewise, just because the OP feels differently than you, doesn’t mean your experience is untrue.

  2. Rob Osborn says:

    AuntM,
    Not sure where tge Op is coming from because the LDS church has a very long track record of being an institution in support of the family. It paints the wrong picture about what the church is in general to state that leaders teach members to put the church before everything else. Our church just doesnt teach that in general. Our church is entirely centered on supporting families.

    • Mraynes says:

      As the wife of a bishop with four very small children I have to say that, in my personal experience, I feel the church has a lot more to say about this than actual support to provide.

    • Denisse says:

      As a only member, recently baptized, I can say that the Church have suggested me to put before the Church than my own family; and it is what they have been doing now with the new homosexual policy. I loe the LDS Church and I want it to become a better space for everyone.

  3. Violadiva says:

    Dearest Denisse, thank you so much for the reminder to take time for self-care, and for the lovely illustration about how a little self-care in your own life has flowered open your love for others in new ways. I believe that when we love ourselves, we honor the God-given divinity within us, and that love flows forward and back from God, amplifying the intensity of both.

  4. Jess R says:

    Thank you for this Denisse. I have also experienced the pressure you talk about from the church. As a kid, my parents both had time-consuming callings that kept them away from our family; and the pressure to conform and fit a specific mold has also been a part of my life. I also agree with you that loving one’s self first allows us to love God and others better and more fully. If we are to love and care for our neighbor as ourselves, and we don’t love and care for ourselves, where does that leave our neighbor?

  5. Mraynes says:

    One of the most profound lessons of my life was truly accepting that I was okay as a person. Once I accepted that and provided for my own spiritual/emotional/physical needs I found that my capacity to love and accept other people was dramatically increased. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post.

  6. Kathy says:

    Thank you for the lovely post.

  7. spunky says:

    I struggle with this same thing. For a time, my husband was less active. The more mormony things I did (as directed by leaders and church materials!) The worse our marriage became. I prayed if I should divorce him, and had a resounding answer NO, and that I should behave more Christlike – rather than Mormon – within my marriage. I did the same for me. I gave myself permission to not feel lesser because my husban wasn’t “active,” and looked after myself more than i was looking after him. That was 7 years ago. We’re still together and he is “active.” I also try my best to get “me” time in, so I am a better wife and mother, and I can be closer to the spirit.

    Thank you so much for your post. I wish someone would have written this for me a long time ago.

  8. Gracias. Me he dado cuenta de que puedo servir mejor a los demás cuando me cuido a mí misma, también.

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