Updated: Oct 8, 2021
Hurricane Zeta has passed, power is back on and now I have some time to think. In my 50s, I ask many more questions than I did 25 years ago. As we get older, there could be a few reasons for that. The first reasonable assumption would be it's because life has taught us what to ask, or that failing short-term memory could be the case. While those might be true, I feel like another reason is that we're more cautious based on fear. Asking more questions, sometimes helps us "feel" like we're doing diligence to avoid making mistakes.
I'm thinking back to a few years ago when I was taking NLP training, and one question I hadn't ever really thought of posing anyone was a part of that particular night's lesson. Suddenly, I was speechless and felt like I'd been hit upside the head with a brick. A revelation that I really needed.
'What does love mean to YOU?' It had never occurred to me that I needed to ask that question before becoming romantically involved with someone. Well. Everyone knows what love means, right?
As the instructor began to explain, when someone says "I love you" they love you according to their own definition of love. People assume they know what love means to their partner, because they know what it means to them. You don't know until you ASK. A person's perception of love is theirs, but not necessarily the same as yours. Wow. Relationships break up, because one person may feel the other one doesn't 'love' them anymore. To one person 'loving' someone may mean providing a roof over their heads and keeping all the bills paid. To another, it might mean spending all their free time with that person, or buying them gifts all the time, giving into their sexual desires, or excepting all of their baggage and putting up with their vices. Whew. The list of possibilities could go on. I learned a valuable lesson that night. Now, I'm pondering how lax I've gotten. Yes, I have been. Today is a reminder that I should not only ASK THE QUESTION, BUT TO GET A CLEAR ANSWER.