Loyalty is an often spoken and promoted word. However it is not often practiced in the same light as its verbal advantages. The important portion to loyalty is that it doesn’t bend, it doesn’t wither, it doesn’t release itself and it doesn’t get lost. If any of these alterations occur, then it isn’t loyalty.
Loyalty persists. It persists even when the chips are down, the scene looks bad, the opposition appears to be correct and the object of our loyalty wavers in their worthiness.
Can loyalty end? Yes of course it can, but we are forced to question whether we were truly loyal in the first place or not. Some of the common areas of our lives most affected by the loss of loyalty are our marriages or intimate relationships, our work, our friendships, our job and ultimately our community. Loyalty to a particular religion, philosophy or theology is surprisingly strong even though we hear so many arguments and disgruntled “believers”. Those who are of a strong religious life can add to the list that they sometimes deny their loyalty to the very God they worship.
When I look to my own past, I cannot find one person who has not shaken the very foundation of my loyalty to them. Likewise I too can see good reason for anyone in my past to question his or her desire to remain loyal to me. At one time or another, I have hurt everyone I know. At one time or another, everyone has also hurt me. We have mutually made mistakes causing doubt concerning the integrity of the other party. These types of events are very human, normal and to be expected in any life. Often times those who claim to be the most loyal to us, are in fact the least loyal to us. Sometimes the most loyal person to us is not even known to be so.
Yet the very notion of Loyalty exists only because of the foundation of persistence. Given that we will always find reasons to doubt from time to time, we cannot wish away that experience as wholehearted dis-loyalty. In the end, what makes loyalty real, is the steadfast attachment even after doubt. It makes me realize that questions and doubt are meant to be a part of Loyalty itself. I believe these moments of doubt exist not so that our loyalty is tested and not that we be tested, but that we in turn gain greater understanding as to the wisdom of loyalty.
No one on earth is above reproach. No human idea is above reproach. No law, or principle or desire or motivation of man is above reproach. No government of man or country of man or way of life is above reproach. We are wise to question all things, study all things and consider all things. Even loyalty must be questioned. In order to claim loyalty though, we must remain associated after the doubt and must answer that doubt with reason. Reasonable knowledge and understanding is not always easy to command. Practicing Loyalty during the difficult stages gives us the time we need to find that logical and heartfelt reason.
With all the difficulty concerning Loyalty and the struggle to claim “actual” loyalty, it is often a wonder, even to me, why loyalty is something that is so important?
It has become my understanding that Loyalty is housed within the realm of “Love.” None of us will ever know perfect loyalty either in the giving or the receiving. The relationship of Parent to a Child is probably our most reliable measuring stick. A Parents effort to promote life, no matter how misguided or healthy their principles may be, is generally persistent throughout the life of their child. This prowess of loyalty is not earned by the child in any way; it is given, wholly because of a desire to do so. That desire has biological components, emotional components and spiritual components.
To have loyalty for anything or anyone, we must have love for them. We must live within a system that allows for mistakes, errors, troubles, miss-understandings and arguments while remaining loyal. This requires Love. Love is the only thing that can make right what is not right until such time that we have grown to understand a greater vision. Remaining loyal allows for that growth, whereas every time we disconnect from a thing or person we must again start over. Because of this effect, loyalty has truly saved my life many times from far worse pain. Although…
Outside the realm of Family, it also appears that loyalty must be shared. If I am to be able to give loyalty, then I must have a love for the object of that loyalty. In order to live in the actual realm of love, then love must be given and received. For another person to actually receive love… they also must love in return. If they do not love in return, then they are not loyal to me and I am practicing false loyalty to a false image of a person who doesn’t love me. This idea remains consistent also with groups such as governing bodies, lawmakers and ruling parties. In these matters loyalty to a lie will cause pain.
Principles are easier to give loyalty to because a principle is a static thing that does not change. It has given… and over the course of our lives it is we who will learn more and more from that principle. It gives, we receive and we continue to gain, causing us to have much love for the principle.
Why an Ode to Loyalty?
Well… I see the effect of loyalty in the eyes of my Wife. I have let lay bare every good thing and every bad thing about the life in me that makes me Ryan. This has not deterred her from remaining by my side on into the future. Because of her loyalty to our way of life and to me, she has proven that love is within her for our way of life and for me. Where this love exists, there can be recovery from any issue, healing, growth, beauty, wonderment and security. This presented itself all because of our mutual desire to remain loyal to one another. I find myself deeply impressed with her capacity for Loyalty. I have not often witnessed this in another to the level that she expresses daily. Because of this, we have often experienced joys that I could not have previously imagined.
Loyalty deserves our attention. It behooves us to clearly and honestly take inventory of our loyalties. Loyalty is a branch on the tree of Love and we must embrace it in order to discover its fruits. Likewise we may find dead branches that requiring our pruning. The study of loyalty will teach us profoundly about our self. We discover facets of ourselves that we previously were not so consciously aware of. I have always found this study to produce greater gifts. Sometimes it can be humbling to discover our own lies in our own selves. More often though we find more truths about ourselves that in turn offer powerful rewards.
I hope your journey is a good one.
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