HOW TO LOVE AND DISAGREE

Not too long ago I was talking to someone in my family – I love her and I know she loves me. We had a great conversation, we laughed and shared stories as we caught up on one another’s lives.

At the end of the conversations, she says…

“Chad, I’m glad you’re happy even though I don’t approve of your lifestyle. Be sure to tell Pasha (my husband) that I said hello.”

The wires in my head short-circuited.

Even if she thought it, why would she choose to say that out loud to me after we just had an otherwise wonderful conversation?

I’ve been out to my family for more 20 years, I thought we were past all of this.

This got me thinking about love, beliefs, and disagreement.

Disagreements are not anomalous to relationships, they are an inevitability. So too are the beliefs that drive us individually and the potential for love between us all.

But how do you love someone who doesn’t agree with something that means so much to you? Or worse – what they disagree with is a part of who you are?

As an adult, all relationships are a choice. A choice to create space for another person in your life. Relationships are an agreement between two people to allow one another in their lives.

With all agreements, there are terms.

Those terms are different in every relationship. A generous person, who is most open to connection, makes those terms clear.

When those terms are violated, there are consequences.

Sometimes those consequences are an immediate reaction – a fight. Sometimes the consequences are more passive like the silence, space, and distance that can come between people.

What often creates these disagreements is a clashing of our beliefs. Whether that’s a clash of religious, political, social, or a simple belief in how people should treat one another.

The key to love through disagreement is to understand that your beliefs – all beliefs of any kind – are based on your life experience, the culture you live in, your fears, your defensive mechanisms, your superstition. Those factors are different for everyone – and therefore everyone carries around different beliefs.

Beliefs are attached to your ego.

Love is something completely different.

Love in relationship doesn’t allow one person to diminish the experience of another simply because their beliefs don’t align.

Love is the fullest expression of your self – and your willingness to allow others to do the same.

Love is an expression of your grace.

Love is the antidote to loneliness – because love is what allows real connection between you and another human being.

Love supersedes the ego.

Ultimately, how you love and disagree is a choice.

Will you disagree with dignity and decency?

Will you disagree with love and compassion?

Which is more important? Your beliefs or your love for this person?

Are your individual beliefs worthy of the collective consequences?