The word loyalty is overused and widely misused. Toxic individuals use it as a tool to manipulate others into believing they have to remain in stagnant relationships, while most of us use the word to dictate the tone of our exchanges with the world. The reality is that loyalty is so complex in nature that it requires us to be transparent with ourselves before we can expect others to be loyal to us.
Loyalty is two parts (my interpretation)- self and spiritual. It is built on the foundation of respect which goes hand-in-hand with it. If you don’t respect someone or yourself, then how can you say you’re loyal? What sense does that make? Without respect you’ll lie, you will step out of bounds, at a moment’s notice you’ll leave for a better situation in addition to betraying yourself.
Honestly, how many of us are loyal to ourselves? When was the last time you put yourself first? We scream loyalty and demand that others are loyal to us, but we aren’t even that to ourselves. Men and women alike stay in toxic relationships for the sake of loyalty; putting others’ needs and wants before their own. They know the situation doesn’t serve them, but out of comfort (not loyalty), they stay there. We deal with individuals whose negativity drains us because of loyalty when the first law of nature is self-preservation. Let me take it a step further.
We are loyal to a system that does a disservice to our children daily. We pay school taxes for our kids to be taught by educators who are only there for a check. Insurance is a fraud, but we shell out over billions of dollars a year in case something happens and when it does, we still pay because we are conditioned to be loyal to societal norms. When are we going to break the cycle and be loyal to ourselves?
Let’s look at it on a spiritual level. For those of us that believe in God and reference the Bible as our spiritual guide, how loyal are we to God? “If you love me, you will keep my commandments”(John 14:15). How many are actually keeping those commandments- all ten on a consistent basis? We inadvertently lie, we steal (yes, taking office supplies is theft), we murder other’s spirits and beings with our tongues, we idolize people and things which often breeds jealousy – another sin. We fornicate. The list can go on.
If we take it a step further and look at 2 Thessalonians 3:10, we expect to eat without work. How many times do we clock in and chill, but still want a full check? Again we expect others to be loyal to us and we aren’t loyal to our creator. Being loyal is deeper than what we think. Our perception is shallow at best.
By no means am I trying to preach or discourage loyalty. I am simply opening the conversation to be looked at across all facets for a deeper understanding. You should never expect what you aren’t willing to truly give.