I recently spoke with someone who felt they were being treated unfairly and with disrespect by their love interest. Which brought up the very sensitive subject about choices.
She felt it was unfair he was ignoring her offers of love and affection by continuing to go out to bars and what not. How could he be so mean to her when she offered him "unconditional" love and companionship? How could he completely disregard her love for him? How? How? How?
Well that's the funny thing about choices. You see, we make them everyday. Each and every one of us. Sometimes we are making conscious decisions but most of the time we are making fly by our pants completely emotional ones. And the truth is most of us don't recognize the simple fact that just as we had the ability to choose one thing, we also have the capacity to pick something else if it doesn't work out the way we wanted.
In addition, we are being completely unfair to another person when they make choices which do not coincide with what we want them to choose. Usually that choice being us. My friend was focused on how horrible her love interest was being to her without owning the fact she was choosing to continue to allow him to act this way and even ultimately picking to stay in the situation. And her "unconditional" love? Well after the How we are introduced to the Why. Why should she love him when he treated her so terribly? Why indeed.
I have found when it comes to the matter of others' preferences we judge them more harshly than we do ourselves. It's easier to bemoan the behavior of someone else than it is to own we are equally guilty of the same conduct.
That's where I had my proverbial "bitch slap". My epiphany. I told someone very close to my heart that his life was all about his choices. I think I actually began annoying the hell out of him! Anyway, I also had to recognize the simple fact I didn't approve of his decisions or choices in love at all. Wake up call for me. I really wanted him to choose me. The big difference is I really want this man to be happy. With anyone. Just happy because he deserves it. So I pray for him everyday to find that in his life.
Once I realized I was also deciding to hang around in the hopes one day he would see my value as a woman I discerned I was perpetuating my own heartache and pain. Doesn't make me not want him any less, but it does make me concede at some point I was unfair to him.
So basically when we don't agree with a choice someone else makes we need to closely identify the "why" of that disagreement. Selfish or not, fair or unjust, the main responsibility we owe ourselves is complete honesty.