Mortgaging Love

Have you ever experienced “mortgaged love?” An emotion that is offered to you with conditions and strings attached. If you have, you’re not alone. Many of us as we walk through the corridors of life see trinkets and seductions disguised as Love, but True Love is something that is supposed to be given freely and unconditionally. There are some out there who have not learned this.

I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine who was telling me of an elaborate plan that her mother used to extract money from her. At first it would start with comments like “You know I love you, and I would do anything for you”. This would then progress to “I’ve been having problems lately…I’m not happy, but I know that people who love me want me to be happy, and I know what I need to be happy. The only problem is, it costs $5,000.” Do you get the picture? Eventually my friend felt so guilty that she had to send a check for $5,000 to her mother, or she believed her mother would think that she didn’t love her. My friend explained to me that she could guarantee about 2 to 3 phone calls like this each year, every time for a different amount of money. Each time she would go through the process of putting money on the side for her mother’s needs, making sure that her husband would never see a trace of what she was doing. What started out as “love” turned into a form of emotional extortion and betrayal. I know sometimes people we love hit a bump along the road, and need to borrow something, but usually that ends up being a one time occurrence. When it becomes habitual, we’re talking about something entirely different.

Each one of us has to, in one way or another, find the balance between spending and saving. Too much of either is no good. Individually it is up to us to find the right allocation. It’s important not to develop the habit that when in trouble, “so and so will bail me out”, because whether we like to admit it or not, every time we ask, we attach more and more negative baggage to that relationship. My friend Mark entered into a partnership in a glass company with his buddy Sal. After about 6 months he discovered Sal was lifting money from the company checking account. Upon discovery Mark confronted Sal and asked him, “Sal, why did you do this?” Sal’s response, believe it or not was, “There’s a sucker born everyday.” Where on earth do people learn to do such things? Mark told me Sal had been a life-long friend…he was totally devastated. It’s obvious Sal mortgaged his friendship with Mark. There are some wonderful people in this world who will go out of their way to help others. But there are also some who will go out of their way to take you for everything you’ve got. One of the most important lessons to learn in life is to know the difference.

Take the time to love,
Jennifer Avalon
© 1998 Jennifer Avalon

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