The other day, I stumbled across this amazing tweet: "To me, obligation is not love. Letting someone be open, honest, and free-that's love. It's got to come natural and it's got to be real."
I don't follow Dolly Parton, but now I'm thinking I should. This stuff speaks to my very soul, as I'll expand upon in a moment. However, this only serves to drive home a point that one of my friends has been making as long as I've known her: Ms. Dolly Parton is the real deal. Parton's modest up bringing is well known. I feel that her modest beginnings contribute to her savvy business management. She also has had the same husband for going on 46 years. Long story short: I like her.
So back to this tweet. I've written before about how I believe in family of choice. I've also written about letting go of obligation in a work/social setting. But Dolly has made such a critical link between love and obligation, which when you really think about it, are oppositional. When I said:
Obligation is a really nasty feeling. (My best friend helped me to understand this, and God bless you, woman.) I mean, think about it--what good does obligation serve? To act out of obligation is very similar to acting out of pity. The result is that actions which come from a place of obligation are, for lack of a better term, half-assed. I think that, as people, our best bet is to do things fully or to not do them at all. If you are consistently operating from a place of obligation, then you're surely not putting out best work out there.You're not being the best employee/partner/friend/family member you can be. The only option is to choose what we can fully commit ourselves to....I hadn't really made connection to love, but there it is in black and white from one Ms. Parton. When we place pressure upon someone else and demand something from them, there is no way it can be love. Absolutely no way.
And while we're talking about not half-assing...here's a little treat!