Trip to see Taylor!!!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chapter S-6: Thought in Love

So we left off that Spencer was sending me an email on his Thoughts on Love...
We had gotten to the point where we had briefly glossed over our pasts (not in full detail and besides if they are in the past usually there is a reason for that).

Spencer let me know that he had been married before
(I was shocked he was only 25) and was now divorced.
I admit I used to have a really negative view of divorce (as in I didn't want to ever date someone who was divorced) but since I knew some close friends who had come through divorces (that were completely not their fault) I was now not so super judgemental about them.
He didn't have any kids with his ex-spouse.

He told me he wanted to be honest with me and tell me everything (which I appreciated).
And his story soon unfolded of his first wife...

They were high school sweethearts.
He was enlisting right out of high school.
She wanted to move with him up north where he would initially do bootcamp etc.
However, she didn't want to be just his girlfriend and he wanted her to be covered as a spouse (with health benefits and housing etc).

So they got married in a courthouse in secret.
He told his parents they were engaged.
He intially started out as Military Police in the Army.
He was around DC and she had a really really hard time as a military wife.
She was lonely and bored.
He was trying to make a career for himself.
She would get upset at the lack of attention he paid to her (he blamed his exhaustion and her lack of understanding) and heck they were still teenagers.
He was soon deployed and she was there by herself.
He had a best friend there that would stop in and check on her (can you see where this is going?)

He was deployed and unfortunately was injured from an IED (which I had no idea what that was...basically a bomb).  He had to have one surgery in Germany and eventually was flown back to the USA (to have a second surgery). 
So when he flew home his parents, his wife (his family thought was his fiancee) and his best friend met him at the airport.
As he made his way to see them, greatful to be home and missing everyone that he hadn't seen in months.
He hugged his parents.
And as he hugged his fiancee she started bawling her eyes out...and told him she was pregnant...he had been away for longer then 3 months (which is what she was) he looked at her in disbelief she then told him it was his best friends child she was carrying.
He jumped at his best friend wanting to hurt him...but his dad held him back as his mother told his fiancee/wife and best friend they should leave.

His parents were really upset and didn't realize they had already gotten married (this will come into play later).
Spencer told me how devasting this was to him.
He loved her and she betrayed him.
After she and his best friend began a relationship that fizzled away within a year.
Now she had a child and was alone.
He told me that she had come to him a year later when she had broken up with his former best friend wanting to try things again.
He fully contemplated was his wife...he had made a commitement to her...he didn't know what to do.
She gave him the option...sign the full divorce papers (that he had been avoiding) or meet her in the morning to try again.
The next morning he got up signed the divorce papers and drove from DC to Florida (to eventually go to school).

When he told me this I was floored.
I thought my past stories were horrible.
But I couldn't believe it.
I thought to myself "see Teagan, how can you not date someone who is divorced when THIS is their story".

Spencer had spent a lot of time overseas when serving in the military.
And obviously the story of his first wife played a lot into his ideas of love and marriage.
I believe he had played a leadership role (even at his young age) with his fellow soldiers.
He told me other crazy one of his soldiers found out his wife was cheating on him because she sent him a videotape of her cheating.  I was STUNNED when I heard could someone do something so cruel???  And other men getting Dear John letters breaking up with them via email and handwritten.  Again I was stunned.  Though I guess I couldn't possibly understand the stress in dealing with someone you love serving in the military.  This was the first time I've even interacted at all with a military man.

I was intrigued and I felt bad for him and his friends too.
Here were these guys serving their country only to be betrayed by those they loved.
I couldn't imagine the hurt.
So that and along with my other lack of military knowledge I had tons of questions.
And Spencer answered them all patiently.
So as a part of one of his courses at the University of Florida he had to write something on his thoughts on love and he also shared this with a lot of his close military buddies.
As he built it up for me I was kinda thinking of Jerry Maguire's Mission Statement at the beginning of that movie.

Without further ado here it is...unedited (I will save my opinion for after).

Subject: thought in love...

From: Spencer
Date: Tue, Nov 10, 2009
To: Teagan

Love breaks down into two categories.

The Love Arsenal which is Impersonal Love. Here the emphasis is on the person doing the loving and this is where the foundation is built for all love.

Personal love this is where the emphasis is on the object or person receiving the love. Personal Love cannot work or last without the foundation of Impersonal Love.

"Impersonal love is the foundation for the character of your love."

First we will dispel any notion that impersonal love involves emotion or expressed as an emotion. It is not. It is a disciplined system of thought based on virtues that are learned through self motivation and self-discipline, which gives one the capacity for love, which enables one to have Personal Love. Personal love is reserved for God, husband or wife, family or close friends.

The Love Arsenal is composed of many virtues and the principal of the Love Arsenal is "Virtue First" thought must always precede action therefore fear is not a component of the Love Arsenal because fear corrupts and prevents correct thinking.

Virtue is our capacity for love, love serves a higher purpose then us. The values and behaviors we practice are virtues which largely hinge on wisdom, honesty, justice, courage and moderation. Virtue can often put our values at odds with one another. For example; your wife just had her hair done, she asks you do you notice anything different? It looks horrible should you be honest? Or should you be sensitive to her feelings. Of course you should be sensitive to her feelings and forego honesty that is wisdom.

You can see how virtues can get you in trouble if you don't apply them correctly to each different situation

Concentration all true love requires concentration. In Impersonal Love one concentrates on his own priorities to avoid compromising his integrity by not succumbing to distractions like hate, envy, bitterness, and self righteousness or in the case of Personal Love, this is important to prevent disillusionment with the one you love. Concentration is essential to genuine sensitivity towards others. Without concentration there can be no capacity for life and no success in any endeavor, including love. You must learn to set aside distractions and develop the ability to focus your attention on a single object to the exclusion of all others. If one cannot sustain mental focus one is unstable and will lack the attention span required to pursue any thought to it's conclusion. This will cause one to vacillate from one subject to another.

Happiness begins where selfishness ends. True happiness is a peace inside us learned through practicing being grateful and content; one must learn to take pleasure in the simple things of life. If we magnified the positive things the same way we magnify our disappointments we would all be much happier. A happy person is an attractive person spreading a positive influence to all around them. Happiness is essential in love, but love should not be the basis for happiness. What I mean by this is if you're not happy with yourself you can't be truly happy with others. Happiness can be a powerful weapon.

Truth True love cannot exist without truth. Truth makes love possible, because love is rational never absurd always dependent upon thought not emotion. Love calls for consistency of thought (rationality) by way of virtue. Therefore love is logical not emotional. The confusion of love is emotion which is not true love.

Integrity is where trust comes from and without trust there can be no love. Integrity demands objective thought. Right thinking leads to right motivation and right motivation leads to right action honor in love. Integrity is uprightness of character, honesty, candor, uncompromising adherence to a code of moral or professional values; the avoidance of deception, expediency, artificiality, or shallowness of any kind. Integrity is persistence and faithfulness to principles. Integrity evaluates, synchronizes and decides what is allowed or not allowed or what is right and what is wrong based on your values and principles.
Reduced to essentials," integrity is loyalty to truth."

Honor is what motivates us to keep our integrity. It is the desire to do the right things. Honor should never be subject to fear of consequences. Honor should never be accompanied by pride or self righteousness. Honor motivates faithfulness in love. To love is to Honor.
I will be sending more later
This was a project I set for myself. Many of you know that I a not the best in areas of English, so I am sorry for errors.

Humility is the most powerful weapon in your Love Arsenal next to love itself. It is the balance between authority and freedom. Humility is what love and all the weapons of the Love Arsenal are built on. Humility is a system of thinking under pressure. Courage and poise are the clothing that covers such thinking with glory. Humility precludes inordinate competition, self advancement and the arrogance of achievement. Some of our presidential candidates could use a lesson in humility. Both humility and arrogance are patterns of thought. A humble person is oriented to reality and an arrogant person is divorced from reality. A genuinely humble person acknowledges his weakness and depends on strength greater than his own, his Love Arsenal. Since he recognizes and submits to truth he thinks and acts from a position of strength. In contrast to an arrogant person who places himself in a position of weakness by overestimating his strengths. He lives in a house of cards built on the illusion of self importance.
I think we all know that after we cut through the emotions to make a marriage work it takes hard work like anything else in life. How easy we forget getting caught up in work, careers, problems we may be having and forget our priorities and neglect one another. Sometimes the one you love becomes a disappointment or does not reciprocate your love. You are now faced with two choices; 1. You can use your Love Arsenal of Impersonal Love to stand on your own character and integrity to get you through situations and problems that always occur between people or 2 . You can use the tremendous energy of personal love to create pain and confusion through disillusion, depression, bitterness, self pity, vindictiveness or even guilt ultimately punishing yourself and here you will find no solutions.

In conclusion personal love can magnify weaknesses, create vulnerabilities, and obliterate objectivity. So Personal Love for another no matter how romantic is dependent on your Love Arsenal of Impersonal Love. You may get your heart broken in Personal Love, but your Love Arsenal of Impersonal Love will repair it and keep you going.

The Love Arsenal of Impersonal Love functions like an immune system for the brain that defends against hate, arrogance, bitterness, jealousy, deception and other evil systems designed to corrupt and poison our thinking the Love Arsenal of Impersonal Love enables us to have a personal love relationship.
There you go Teagan....
Call me and let me know what you think...

I didn't expect it to be so long and so ...well...confusing.
Mainly because this isn't something I could ultimately connect with.
If I was being honest I found it disjointed.
Though he did admit he wasn't the greatest at English it wasn't just grammatical errors that was hindering my understanding.

I felt like this manifesto made perfect sense to him... in his mind.
However coming from an outsider I didn't really understand fully what he was getting at.
I felt like maybe it was perfect and geared towards people in the military.
Words like arsenal and ammunition etc....probably would resonate more with those who use this type of vocabulary.

I did feel special that he shared this with me and what I chose to extrapolate from it was that love and marriage required work and attention and that did impress me...but I just didn't know how to respond to it...

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