Loyalty: “a strong feeling of support or allegiance”. There is also this: “the quality of being loyal to someone or something”.
What is notably absent from either of these definitions however, are the words, infinite, regardless or door-mat. And, as a woman who considers herself intrinsically loyal, believe me when I say that there is a time of reckoning – motivated and driven by the actions of others.
As I have lived through this life and matured, I have come to realize that, for me, loyalty is more important than love. No, before you think I am crazy (okay; crazier than you’ve already determined), let me explain. Having loved a few people in my life and have had a ring-side seat to what others have called ‘love”, I have sadly come to realize that for some, that emotion and word is one that is often manipulated, tainted and callously flung about at will. I have seen some amazing things as well as some downright destructive, vindictive and painful things done in the name of this ‘love’. To take it one step way-out-there further, don’t terrorists claim to do what they do supposedly in the name of some so-called love or the other?
Listen, don’t despair; I have not, nor will I ever abandon my belief in or my need to sprinkle the manifestations of the “L Word” around; to do same would be to deny the reality of my make-up and transfer too much power to those that seek to steal my joy. But, what I am pointing out is that collectively, we human beings have managed to rub up against and bruise one of the most beautiful and fulfilling gifts, next to life, that we were blessed with. Idiots; one and all!
This brings me back to loyalty. Let’s address this: I believe that one can be loyal without necessarily loving; which is why I value it more. Loving demands emotions and emotions are, well, emotional. They, by very definition, dictate that we put and continue to pour and feed with our feelings, our desires, our beliefs, our wants and needs; and let’s be honest here…top all that off with our whims and flightiness. However loyalty; well that bad boy just demands that we make a decision to stay a course. Oh oh…now that I have put those words down on paper, I understand why this is so very difficult for most people; both the ‘decision making’ and the ‘staying on course’ parts. God; I do so love writing!
For a woman like me, being loyal means that, in spite of what our emotional relationship may or may not be, I believe in and wish for you the best of everything. It says that in spite of space and time, if you need, I will provide. My loyalty to you demands of me that I stand by and support you in the face of any enemy or attacker. Loyalty dictates that I defend you in public, always; and disagree with you behind closed doors when necessary. It mandates that there is never a question of a choice between you and him/her. Like most everything I commit to, my decision (because it IS a decision) to remain faithful or loyal is an absolute one.
But, there is a limit. Just one. Your sense of loyalty may not be as resolute as mine; but your actions cannot be so very blatant in their disregard that you continually test the strength of my commitment. People, every one, every thing has a limit. In fact, there is a fantastic quote that goes: “never push a loyal person to the point where they no longer give a damn…”. So true. Have you ever thought about this reality? Let’s use “matters of the heart” – when you break up with someone, you may be hurt, angry or bitter; but more than likely, what you resort to are tears and angry, bitter words when recounting the scenario to your friends and loved ones. Eventually, you stop; however long “eventually” takes. But here’s the thing – the thing that your ex depends on to stop you from getting on social media and spilling the beans about size, prowess, fetishes, financial situation, family skeletons, smells, etc – is loyalty. Get my point? Love lets you know the truth. Loyalty gets you to keep it.
Today, Friday, I am just saying that we all need to be more conscious. We need to take a look at life, from all directions, and reevaluate what truly matters. We need to stop treating valuable and rare commodities such as loyalty as commonplace and disposable. We need to wise up. That phrase that we toss around, “stop taking me for granted” is a powerful one; but hardly in the clichéd way it is used. I have been guilty, in my youth, of uttering that phrase, with tears, begging one partner or the other to treat me well; to stop pushing the limits of my love; to respect me. As I have matured, I have realized that if ever I were to utter those words again, the recipient of same should be the one in tears. Because it simply means, I no longer give a shit…”