Friendships, whether they are in the form of spousal friendships, childhood friendships, or family friendships, are all possible sources of love and caring. Those sources of love and caring can sometimes become painful when we compartmentalize them and label them with “shoulds.” My spouse “should” do this at this time. My friend or relative “should” do this at that time. Our ego loves to get involved by creating rigid rules around relationships. And if those with whom we are in relationship neglect to follow the rules we’ve created, the “shoulds” come out.
By living our lives in “shoulds,” we make our own pain. We all want to matter, but is it really that important from whom and when the love comes to us? If we focus on the fact that someone doesn’t follow our rule for them, we block love’s ability to come to us from a different source, whether it be another friend, relative, or neighbor.
In other words, love and caring is love and caring – regardless of the source. If we let go of our own rules – the “shoulds” – we open the channel to simply receive and accept love and care.