Sometimes anti-role models are who we need to follow or not-follow. In this case, these people come in handy. Raise your hand if you remember witnessing a volatile relationship – be it physical, loud arguments, abuse, cheating and/or disrespect. Let those other people’s experiences be your lesson. Personally, I remember looking to my anti-role models to help guide me through life. I saw that unprotected sex resulted in teen pregnancy in which the boy usually was not around. I learned that little education often led to dead in jobs with low pay. The life experiences that I witnessed of others helped me majorly. I’m not sure where I would be if I had not learned those lessons that I learned from pure observation.
What does love have to do with learning life lessons? A heck of a lot. Just about all of our beliefs come from experiences that happened during our childhood. We either embrace those lessons as we become adults or we do the complete opposite of what we were taught because for whatever reason, it does not agree with our souls. For example, you probably have the same political affiliation as those who raised you. You probably have the same religion as well. Why? Because you were taught that this particular way of thinking is correct. The same is true with love.
I remember working with a young lady who used to fight constantly. It was something she enjoyed. Yes, she actually found joy in fighting. The energy, the emotions, the adrenaline was something that made her day. Who did she like to fight? Boys. Yep, she loved to fight boys. One day, I watched her purposely annoy a boy she was allegedly dating. The more she tried to make him angry, the more he began to ignore her taunts because he figured out what she was doing. His reaction was not what she was looking for. She wanted him to get angry and hit her. She began calling him names, including punk and b*tch, and dared him to hit her. He wouldn’t. She called him harsher names and then began throwing items at him. Amazingly, he remained calm, told her that she should relax, and informed her that he would never hit her or any girl. This enraged the young lady. She ended up having to be restrained and physically removed from the room.
It turns out this young lady was enraged because her boyfriend obviously did not love her because he did not get emotional and hit her. This is what she learned love was like. All the men in the lives of the women she grew up with had partners who physically fought with them, yet they loved each other. In her mind, if a man does not get so angry that he wants to beat you, then he does not love you. Wow! It was twisted, yet it explained so much about her. She learned that love hurts. Those abused women in her life were her teachers.
Today’s challenge is to think about your teachers of love. Did they teach you healthy love or that love should hurt? Then think about what type of teacher you are to those who are watching you.