[95 May 28]
I took a look at this passage, comparing myself with the ideals found in it, and found that I don't seem to be a very loving person... but then, the standard of perfection is, after all, high....
I feel that I am not patient, not long-suffering if I can help it... I feel that if I do good it is largely or entirely with motives of self-advancement, of hoping to receive love in return.
On the other hand, the love they are talking about here is not something soft and fuzzy... it is tough like wire, it can tie things together like a strong rope, it can take a lot of tension... endures all things, does not give up. That resonates more in me than the more usual descriptions of love!
What often seems to be often treated as a lack of love in me is connected with my high principles and standards... that I put an agreement already made as being more important than what happens on the spur of the moment; that principles must be adhered to, rather than drifting whatever way makes people feel good at the time (but I suppose this is what a friend who hurt me badly by leaving me out of something was doing, too... but by the time she realized that she was hurting me too badly, she was feeling trapped herself! (and why did it mean so much to her to leave a friend out of something, anyway? And what business of hers was it to ``teach me a lesson'', too.. she evidently assumed she could take that sort of thing onto herself!)) Perhaps her example should put me off behaving like that... but although I want to be kind (merciful) I don't want to become sloppy...
I suppose the key is to have mercy to others, while having high standards myself... yet it is hard when the others are showing that they don't care about me and just want to have things their own way all the time.
[1997 Sep 11]
Suddenly realized that being loving and having high standards are independent of each other! Must ponder this much more! The thing underlying the spurious linking of the two will be worth investigation, too. I think it's something to do with people taking disapproval of a mistake as being disapproval of themselves.