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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %TRUE LOVE PERSON COMMUNAL CONTEXT RELATIONSHIP 910824 To truly love another person one needs to love in a way which respects their personal integrity within the communal context of their relationships with other persons who are important to them, and to whom they are important. It is dishonest to pretend that it is possible to love another person without due regard for the significant relationships which create the context within which the person is who they are. People are who they are, within the context of their relationships. People are not isolated objects, and cannot be truly loved as isolated objects. People can be truly loved only with honesty about their relational context. To show honest regard for the relationships which create a person's relational context does not of necessity involve regarding the relationships as worthy of respect; for the relationships may not merit respect. Ignoring the relationships is, however, often part of a pattern of dishonesty. To try to relate to a person intimately while ignoring the relationships which are central to the person's being who they are, is to ask the person to be dishonest. Such is not the way of True Love. People cannot grow in personal and communal integrity when they are asked to be dishonest about their present fabric of personal and communal relationships. Relationships are not defined by collections of objects or persons. The enumeration of the participants in a relationship does not clearly indicate the nature of the relationship. A relationship is a reality which transcends the natures of the individual participants. A relationship has to do with the pattern of communications and interactions among the participants in the relationship; and with those outside the relationship. The quality of a relationship depends critically upon how open and honest the participants in the relationship are with each other; or how manipulative they are with each other. The quality of a relationship depends upon the range of aspects of their lives about which they are open and honest; or regarding which they are manipulative. The quality of a relationship depends upon how inclusive the participants are towards those not intimately involved; or how exclusive they are towards those on the outside. The quality of a relationship depends upon much more than the obvious immediate participants. Relationships between people exist within the context of a community. Integrative communities encourage integrative relationships among people of integrity by working to promote both personal and relational integrity. Communal integrity depends upon relational integrity among people who enjoy personal integrity. It is difficult for there to be relational integrity where personal integrity is a threat to the status quo of a community; e.g., in a community dominated by the collusive games of mutual self deception of addicts and their codependent supporters. In such a dis-unity (not a com-unity) the honesty which is characteristic of relational integrity and people of integrity, is a threat to the status quo. To truly love another person is to work with the other person in dealing honestly with the relational context within which they live; whether that context be disintegrative, or integrative; dishonest or honest. It is dishonest to try to ignore the context. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================