Love Goes a Long Way
Love is a complicated business, isn’t it? One moment you are smitten and committed. Next, you want to run a mile and get out. But there is so much more to love than that.
For starters, the kind of love between new couples is just one love amongst a number (think motherly, fatherly, brotherly, and sisterly love and you can get the picture). Now add friendship, and love as a kind of reverence for humanity and this cute four letter little word suddenly needs some hefty extensions.
While we often think of love as a two way street, it’s possible to love and not receive much back in return. Superficially, that might appear to be a failure. Yet, I believe, to love someone is a successful attainment in itself.
Love that wants the best for someone else, and puts their welfare as a priority is noble, gracious, and, quite possibly, one of the most beautiful things we can do
(whether it’s appreciated or not).
Trouble is, we have had love blurred into something else, which is often not much more than a self-gratifying act. “I love him because he makes me feel good”. “As long as she keeps doing that I’m going to keep loving her forever”.
These versions – of what people commonly refer to as love – are conditional. “So long as that other person keeps looking gorgeous, keeps me safe, or otherwise triggers good feelings in me, I will reward them by sticking around and enjoying what they do for me.”
Such declarations of devotion are highly provisional and unless something deeper develops in time, the relationship is unlikely to last. Because, ultimately, we all disappoint (even that stunning star who thrills you every time they grace the screen has some pretty ordinary ways about them too).
In truth, our flaws in character (when we fail to demonstrate qualities like kindness, fortitude, giving, creativity, and wisdom) leave us appearing downright unpleasant. Which is why it takes love to get through those points.
In practice, this is where love gets practical. By making life feel much more than bearable love goes a long way.
Yet, for as long as people get stuck on love as something conditional, they won’t perceive what they need to give. When they don’t express it, they are also less likely to find it in their own life. So this lack of recognition limits people from giving and finding the kind of love they need.
Can you live without love? You can. But it makes life tough.
The moment we decide to love others without a hidden list of conditions is when the course of life changes. Far from being at the mercy of someone else’s affections, we can love with all that’s within us. To make our existence a beautiful statement of who we are and what we believe in.
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