Some years ago, when I cared for my mother, a Social Worker asked me why I did it. Stuck on stupid, I blurted out "I do it out of love." She then asked me what love is, and I asked her "Don't you have a home to go to?" as I opened the front door. Rude, wasn't it? The fact was that caring for my mother -- what I often referred to as a "labor of love" -- was sapping the life out of me to the point I did many things on impulse and out of anger that I still regret. Coincidentally that night, I listened to the lyrics of one of Whitesnake's songs; ... "I want to know what love is ... I want you to show me." I'm still rambling about it.
Love is such a priceless, pregnant word that I stopped trying to define many years ago. ... When you honestly learn to love, respect, and accept yourself -- without labels, without games, without pretenses of any kind -- people notice because you wear it on your face. Spreading it around, and sharing it with that special someone, becomes a lot easier. You might never be able to define it, but you can certainly understand how it works and express it in many ways as you follow the path to becoming a better man, a better person, and a better human being.
In my personal experience, what began as a labor of love with my mother became a battle of wills that quickly escalated to a civil war that raged inside of me for a few years as I struggled to have my cake and eat it too. This kind of love often pushes you to the edge, makes you wonder if it's just a nightmare you can't wake up from, erodes your self-esteem, and alienates those you love the most.
In this field, love is a double-edged sword. So why do we keep doing what we do?