on love and harm

i think one of the big lessons and the big misconceptions that i want to challenge in this lifetime is what love looks like. i think a lot of people in many ways don’t understand what love really is. a lot of people say the word in order to manipulate others or keep people in relationships or blood ties or family ties and use this understanding of love as a way to silence. as a way to keep people stuck. and i dont think that is what love is at all.

i strongly believe that being in a space where you can have open conversation about harm is foundational to love—to having loving and healthy relationships with others. and i mean this in any way that someone can connect to another person—could be parents, could be siblings, could be cousins, could be friends.

literally any kind of relationship that could possibly be. you might not even have a name for it. but if its a kind of relationship, if there is a connection, if in some way there’s some sort of interfacing there—i think for people to call it one that is loving and healthy, it requires that there is communication, and it is accepted as part of maintaining any relationship that you can talk freely and openly and really discuss how people might be harming others or how someone might be harming you or vice versa.

i think people are really reluctant to change their understanding of love because they think that for whatever reason, that you have to—if you love someone, you dont point out their flaws, you dont point out if they are being violent or oppressive or hurting someone.

and that being said, harm as well needs to be redefined, i think, in such a way that people dont demonize people necessarily that do harm in that everyone has hurt someone before. 

im not saying that it is at all my point to excuse those who violate and hurt others. but i think it’s necessary for people to come to some kind of reconcilliation with all the harm that they have done—that everyone has done on many different levels at different parts of their lives.

the harm that they have done and the harm that they will do because in this world, the ways that we are socially programmed to just Be is very very very incredibly often harmful to others. and working towards that better and striving for accountability and being able to talk to each other or even call it out when its happening? i think that that’s love. 

i think people that shy away from confrontation under the guise that oh, i love this person and i dont want to jeopardize this relationship—the relatoinship is not one that you want to be keeping. it is not a healthy one. it is not a safe one. if you cannot be candid about and you cannot speak about harm, if you cannot talk freely, like— hey what you did? that was hurtful to me or hey, what you did is hurtful to this group of people. and talk about how maybe the framework of mind needs to be shifted, for example.

just having that freedom and knowledge that you wont be responded in a defensive or combative way, i think that’s an important aspect of love that does not get tackled or understood or understood as part of being in a relationship where you truly honestly love another person.

i think this understanding is complicated for a lot of people because a lot of people are rooted in not changing and not learning, that for whatever reason, something so simple as this is radical. and you know, i think that’s part of the problem.

i dont think that its love when you have crystallized someone to being a certain way and that they cannot learn or change or grow.

in some way, unless you are protecting yourself, which i think is a lot of times, the case. but again, i think when youre in a stance of protecting yourself, that does not really count exactly as the kind of love that im talking about. but if you have understood someone as being crystallized and unchanging and that you are not willing to understand that person as a continuously changing person, i dont think that’s love, that’s something else.

and if that person continues to prove that understanding to be accurate, that person is not loving themselves either.

i think i sit at an intersection of relationships that are very unloving at this point in my life. and i know and i will choose and i will continue to push for these things to change. if they dont, its not impossible for me to relocate. it may be difficult, but its going to happen. i hope you are able to reevaluate and think on these things.

Candex Louie