Love is Hard

Season 5
Episode Number
Release Date
April 23, 2023
Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous; love does not brag, it is not arrogant. It does not act disgracefully, it does not seek its own benefit; it is not provoked, does not keep an account of a wrong suffered6 it does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; it keeps every confidence, it believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 📚 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 NASB


Hey! I’m starting this episode off with an apology. If you listened to my previous episode, you know that I am temporarily living in a new apartment. I’m trying to get all situated and in to a new place in my new location. And because I'm in this apartment that I picked out over the internet and did not visit before I came to it, um, it's in a great location with respect to my job, but it's in a horrible location with respect to noise.

I live really close to an interstate. And there is a small airport on the other side of that interstate. So I hear planes taking off and cars revving their engines from dusk till dawn, and all day. So if you hear a lot of noise in the background, I apologize. And that's temporary until I find a more permanent place. I guarantee you my permanent place will not be as noisy in the background.

So that's one thing.

Also, I've been experiencing a lot of sinus drainage in the past week or so, so I may sound a little stuffy and a little off. Apologies for that as well. But I did wanna go ahead and record an episode.


So this morning triggered a thought. I had a topic that I wanted to talk about—and we're still gonna talk about that topic— but this morning triggered even more layers. Into that topic. I had a rough day yesterday and I told one of my friends about it. So, this morning when I was messaging that friend, they said, you know, be intentional about having a good day. When they said that, it triggered this thing that I used to repeat in school.

The Pledge of Success

When I was in school, we had this thing called the Pledge of Success, and we were required to say it every day at the bell. So you'd stand up and… It's like, you know, they do like the Pledge of Allegiance, and then we would have to say The Pledge of Success and the Pledge of Success was:

Today is a new day. It has been given to me as a new gift. I can either use it or throw it away. What I do today will affect me tomorrow. I cannot blame anyone but myself if I do not succeed. This is my life and I choose to make it a success. 💬 The Pledge of Success

In school, I remember us thinking that this was the biggest joke, like it was so corny, we hated saying it. We would say all kinds of random things and make up like little caveats and fit different words in there. We would invert it and make it negative and all kinds of things. And it was just like a huge joke. But when I was talking to my friend this morning, I literally just started repeating it.

And I was like, this is actually really legit. Like every day is a new day and it's a chance to start over. And you can either take that opportunity to start over or you can not. You can stay in whatever state you're in, just like they said, be intentional about having a good day. Whether you choose to go on a new path, whether you choose to make the most of today or not, does affect you the next day.

It's something that is in our hands. It's my life and I have to be the one to choose to make it a success. And I was like, that's so powerful. And my little 11 year old, 12 year old, 13 year old self. Did not feel the power of that at all? I think it goes back to the saying that youth is wasted on the young. ‘Cause if I had understood that in elementary school or middle school—whatever age that group is—I definitely would have looked at that statement totally different. I would not have been mocking it and I would've taken it directly to heart.

That's not the only thing that I feel like they tried to teach us in school that was just lost.

I Feel Statements

Another thing was the “I feel” statements. This was younger, more like elementary school. They tried to teach us how to communicate our feelings through I feel statements, and it required us to say, “I feel blank when you blank. And I would like you to blank.” And we thought it was so lame because at that age it was like, “I feel sad when you don't share the swing. or when you hog the swing set. I would like you to share the swings with me.“ You know, things like that.

It seemed so trivial, but as an adult I'm like, man, That's also pretty clutch because people are not mind readers. People don't know how you feel, and even if you express how you feel, people don't necessarily know what you want.

Is Love is Hard?

This is a conversation is continued from a conversation started when I was back in Florida. I was in Sabbath school and we got into an argument about whether it was easy or hard to love, and I was team that love is hard.

It started with the concept of love your neighbor, and pretty much everyone in the Sabbath school class was like, “People make it hard. It's really easy, it's really simple. We complicate it. All you have to do is love your neighbor.”

I was like, it is hard. If it was easy, we would just do it. Clearly, we're not doing it. We're not doing a good job of loving our neighbor. If you look at the news, and you drive down the road and see how many so-called churches there are, you would not think that we are loving our neighbors.

We are not. Okay? That's not even debatable. But the reason we have trouble loving our neighbors, It's not just… They have the shirts now that says, “love thy insert word/insert different identities.” It's trying to make the point that you should love your neighbor even if they're different than you. But it's not even just that.

It's not even just, oh, I'm discriminating against you because you're a different race, or you're a different gender, or you're a different religion, or you have a different sexuality or whatever. It's not even just that. And even in that, what I'm gonna talk about has a has a way of rearing its head [in those things] too.

Why I Think Love is Hard

It's that how people feel loved is not always how you show love. If you ever studied the love languages—I actually have a episode from my first season when we talked about the fruit of the spirit and.me and one of the guests that I had, we talked about love languages.[1][2] This is one place where this rears its head.

It's probably one of the easiest places to demonstrate this. Different people have different love languages. For instance, I have an uncle that every time I saw him, he tried to give you things. He would literally give you everything he had. Like if you went into the house and he was cooking, he would give you what he cooked—even if that was all that he had. He just felt like he should give—his love language was giving gifts, and that's what he would do. On the other hand, my dad is a actions person. My dad is the person that will just go do things he knows that you like. For instance, my mom has to go to work in the morning and it's cold, so he gets up and he cuts the car on so that it's warm when she gets there.

He knows that she doesn't like this, so he makes sure that that's not there. Or he, you know, he knows she's stressed out, so he makes sure that food is done when she gets home, because he's retired now. Right? And my mom is similar in that she tries to do things. They both—part of why they're probably still married and have been married for 40 years is that they both speak the love language of acts of service. They both do things, anticipating what they think you'll need. I am similar. I am definitely an acts of service person. I probably picked it up from my parents. I'm also a quality time type of a person. if I love somebody, I will make time for them.

But other people, I know they're physical touch people. They like hugs, they like to be close to people. No one in my family is a physical touch person. We're like, don't touch me. Why are you touching me? Then you have people who are, uh, words of affirmation. They need you to talk them up. They need you to tell them, “I appreciate you, you look nice. I appreciate that you did this for me,” blah, blah, blah.

But what happens is most of the time, your natural inclination is to operate in whatever your love language is. So if you're my friend and your love language is physical touch, You expect that every time I see you, I give you a hug and I'm very like, huggy and, and blah, blah, blah. But I am not; that's not a natural thing for me because that's not my love language. It's not the love language of anybody in my family. So I probably, I may hug you, I may not, right, but I'm the one that's going to remember that you had a test and call you and find out if you passed it and planned you, uh, like, you know, to have cake and stuff afterwards or got you this helpful study kit to get you through the test or whatever, right? That's more of what I'm going to naturally do because I love you.

I'm more likely to be like, okay, I've cleared a space on my calendar to spend time with you because I enjoy your company. But I'm not necessarily likely to just be like, “oh, you look nice today. I really appreciate you being here,” et cetera, et cetera. I'm not really a words of affirmation person, so I would be showing you that I appreciate you through my actions, but I might not ever say it out loud, right? Because that's just not natural to me.

Speaking A Foreign Love Language

What has to happen is I have to realize that you need that and then go against what's natural to me to give you what you need.

But the same thing has to happen in reverse. You have to realize, you're walking up to me being like, “oh, you look nice,” or, “oh, I really appreciate what you do,” but you never actually act on anything. Like when I need you, you're not there, or we never hang out. You never spend quality time with me and then I don't feel loved by you.


Same thing. If you give me gifts all the time, but we never actually hang out or you never remember the things that are important or you never do anything, then I don't, I feel like you're just trying to buy me or whatever. Right? Because we speak very different love languages and this is very important in a romantic relationship, but it happens in friendships, in acquaintanceships and everything else, and it takes time to identify what love language each person speaks. Some people know their love language, like I could tell you mine, other people don't know their love languages, and so that's hard, right?

We All Have Different Expectations

Similarly, there are just things that people like and don't like that are not, they don't line up. I remember talking to one of my friends and they were reading the memoir by Will Smith—and I haven't read this, so I'm going off of what they told me—but they were telling me about how Will Smith had planned this huge bash for Jada's 40th birthday, and Jada was ungrateful.

And I've seen a lot of people talk about this particular instance and they talk about how Will did all this stuff and he, he did what everyone wants and Jada was ungrateful and people were just bashing Jada for being ungrateful for what he did. And so my friend's telling me about this 40th bash, and he's like, yeah you know, Will rented out an island. And I'm like, oh, snap! He rented out a whole island and they went to the island and then he invited all their friends and I was like, yo, right there, you lost me. He invited all their friends. That totally defeats the purpose of renting out the whole island. So, this is where I started to understand where Jada may have been coming from.

Now, I don't know Will Smith; I don't know Jada. Maybe she was being ungrateful and spoiled. Maybe she wasn't. I don't know. Cuz I don't know them and I really don't care that much about them as a whole. It's not my job to speculate on their marriage or what did or didn't happen, but using this to talk about how we perceive each other differently.

I am an introvert. I don't like being around large groups of people, and typically on my birthday, my goal is to do as little human interaction as possible. I don't wanna be around a large group of people, just, you know, close friends, close family. I definitely don't wanna see people. I get so annoyed. You have the people that call that have not talked to you all year and they wanna catch up on the whole year on your birthday. And I'm like, I don't wanna talk to you right now. I wanna enjoy my day. I haven't talked to you all year. There's no need for me to talk to you today. And so I really would rather spend the time alone.

So, me personally, I'm like, yeah, like renting out a whole island. If you have the money for it, sounds great. We go to the island; we go spend time on the beach. Just me and my husband.[3] And if I had kids, you know, the kids could come too, but like, you know, just the family outing, just no onlookers and just like relaxing. But the moment you bring in a bunch of other people, I'm like, oh, I, that's not a good time anymore. Now I have to be presentable to these other—because you remember, you gotta remember also we're talking about Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith. We're not talking about regular people. So like, you can't be out here looking ratchet in your sweatpants with no makeup on and your hair not done. It just changes everything. And I was like, maybe that's not what she wanted. Right?

And you know, apparently he did some kind of video and it was like a spotlight. And you know, women are… Women have a tendency to be sensitive about their age. Even black women who don't age. But also in Hollywood, you know, a lot surrounds getting older. You get less roles and things like that. And so I know a lot of people who have turned 40 and it's a bittersweet thing where many of them haven't necessarily been super excited about turning 40, so that might have also been a sore spot to just be announcing to all, all the world, everyone from Hollywood is here and it's like, yeah, you're 40.

She might have been dealing with some insecurities of that in herself and Will just didn't notice it. But he thought he was doing a good thing. He, he did something, hopefully out of good intention. Right. And I think this happens a lot. I've been in a lot of situations where, you know, people are doing what they think is right and they're trying to be helpful, but it's actually not what you need.

More Realistic Example

Um, a more normal example, obviously most of us don't have husbands that are renting out whole islands for us to be ungrateful about. But, for instance, I struggle with drinking lots and lots of soda and I try to cut back on soda sometimes, or you know, I try to just eat healthy… To have a more healthy lifestyle. And my parents are used to me drinking lots of soda, so a lot of times when they come visit, they will bring soda with them. And if you say that you don't want it, they will be offended because they went out of their way to bring you something. They were trying to do something good for you, but it's not what you wanted. And by expressing it, then they are upset. But if they leave it now, I am tempted to drink the soda. Right.

How I Feel About Your Love

This is where it's hard because it's not, it's not about I do or don't love you. It's about how I feel. About your actions. It's about how you feel about my actions. And a lot of times people love you to death.

They love you, but you feel suffocated in their love or you feel, um, ignored in their love because how they're expressing their love to you is not how you desire it. And many people don't even understand that there's a difference there. A lot of people just expect everyone to expect the same thing. In those conversations about Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, everyone just expected that all women want the same thing and that all women would want that, and therefore she was crazy for not wanting that or not appreciating that. And that's not true.

My dad used to watch Divorce Court all the time and he talked about this man who used to get the woman flowers all the time, and he was complaining about her not being appreciative of the flowers. And the woman was saying, you know, I've told him multiple times, I don't like flowers, but he keeps getting me flowers. Right? He thinks that he's doing the right thing, but he's not, ‘cause he's not listening. You have to listen to people to love them the way they want to be loved, but also sometimes even when you listen and you're trying to love them the way they want to be loved, there's still a question of whether it is, you know, honest, like pure.

Love Isn’t Always Agreeable

I don't, I don't know how to explain like, When I was a kid, you know, I wasn't really allowed to go to sleepovers like that. My parents had to know the people I was going to sleep at their house. They had to, you know, trust them and stuff like that. And as an adult, I really get it, but as a kid I didn't.

And so you're like, “you don't want me to have any fun. You're suffocating me,” you know, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And you just felt like they didn't trust you and all of these things. So in those cases, it's not, oh, my parents should have listened to me and heard that I felt suffocated and been like, okay, well, we're gonna loosen the reins and you can just go wherever you want to go. Um, no, they did the right thing. They loved me. They wanted to keep me safe, so they did things to keep me safe, even though it irritated me. And so in some cases, being loved won't feel good. And it's… and that's even true of God's love. God corrects his children. So sometimes it doesn't feel good.

And I think that's the problem.

We have these rose tinted glasses that love is always, I always agree with you; I always support every decision you make, even if it's bad for you. And I just go along with whatever you say, but that's not love. Real love is sometimes tough love. But also sometimes love is letting go.

Sometimes love is letting people fall. Even though you think it's a bad idea, you think it's not good. It's letting them fall and see for themselves and being there to pick up the pieces if and when it does happen. But that's difficult. Love is difficult. I stand by that statement 100%. You guys may still disagree with me, but….

It's part of this whole thing about communication and how we communicate love is very, very important. So I want you to think about that. The next time you're annoyed with somebody, or the next time somebody is annoyed with you, are you paying attention to how they want to be loved and what they need? In the relationship or are you just bulldozing through with what you think is the right thing to do?

Stop and think about other people's perspectives. In the meantime, have a great day and I will see you guys again next week. Bye.

References and Footnotes

  1. 🎙️
    Love and Dating
  2. 🎙️
    Fruit of the Spirit: Love
  3. I said this like I had a husband but we don’t have kids lol I don’t have a husband or kids. This is 100% a hypothetical situation

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