How simple it would be
If love were free
We are desperate for love, because we do not know Love. We have an idea of what we think it is, but that idea rarely permeates our realities. To us, love is equated with “feelings” – if she/he makes me “FEEL GOOD” she/he loves me; and (tragically) the better that person makes us feel, the more we attribute that feeling to love.
But love isn’t a feeling…love is an act. A choice. A commitment.
Our first experience with love comes not from a moment of beautiful harmony, but one of debilitating pain – birth. A woman may experience pleasure for a moment in the process of creation (hopefully) but what comes next is anything but “feel good”. The woman sacrifices her entire being for a new being she doesn’t even know. Even if she chooses not to be a mother, if she carries the child, she commits an act of selflessness that is the very essence of what it means to love….
She sacrifices to accommodate this new being. She sacrifices without expecting anything in return. That is love, incarnate.
A mother gives birth in the thrones of death, yet her concern remains with the unborn; a stranger she doesn’t even know…someone who may grow up to reject her…maybe even harm her. Love is risk.
She willingly submits to the burden of bringing a new being into being. She forgets the agony of childbirth and the hardship of the last several months and becomes consumed with providing for a person who has nothing to offer her in return, with no guarantees that they will reciprocate when they are of age. Why does she do this? Because she has fallen in love, true love, unconflicted, unconditional, genuine LOVE.
Love is a selfless act. It is about the other person – devoid of self – which typically makes it hard for us. Our love is traditionally self-focused, based on receiving rather than giving. This is why the moment things don’t go our way in friend-ships, family-ships, or relation-ships we are quick to abandon ship.
Are we loving or are we lying?
How is it possible to fill your heart with love for someone and suddenly have it disappear? If this is what love is, shouldn’t we all fear loving? Shouldn’t we avoid love like the plague?
But we don’t.
No one ever expects a mother to “fall out of love with” a child she nurtures. We expect a mother’s love to endure through darkest trials, because …well…she’s a mother and somehow, we believe becoming mother’s gives you the superpower to love….unconditionally. But mothers are no different than the rest of us.
We are all capable of loving our fellow man with the heart of a devoted mother….we choose not. We choose to refuse love without condition but expect other to give it to us? Such egotistical assholes we are.
To love is an act of humility; it comes with costs.
It costs ego.
It costs pride.
It costs selfishness.
It costs time.
It costs sacrifice.
Love is (often)about being the thing you need the most (likely at times you need it the most) for someone who (at times) may never be that thing for you.
Again, what does a parent do? Pour themselves into children who may or may not grow up to repay that love. They pour themselves – unselfish parents -into children believing the love will make a difference, even when circumstances say otherwise. Why don’t we all love this way?
We say we want love when what we really want is companionship, attention, sex, a roommate to split finances…or (worse) we want someone to replace a love we miss (i.e. a parent whose passed on) or to become the love we didn’t receive from someone else.
We are not loving, we are taking. We are afraid to love. We don’t want to give unless we can be sure that giving will be reciprocated. So we hold back, constantly demanding others give more as we refuse to give little, if anything at all.
Sacrificial love is often looked upon as foolishness.
Isn’t that exactly what love is though? Foolishness? I am certain it is. One has to be a fool to even attempt unconditional love in a world of egos who think they love themselves.
We claim to be experts on what love should “look like” or “feel like” in our lives… and in the lives of others…but we know that we know nothing. We suffer this loss (of knowing Love) by filling ourselves with the scraps of lust disguised as love. We expose ourselves to unnecessary danger, pain, loss and heartache in an attempt to secure the love we think we deserve. Then, we enter a cycle of insanity and blame broken hearts for failing to mend our pain.
Why…how…do we expect the broken to mend the broken?
I found love when I stopped seeking to GET and began seeking to GIVE. I found love when I realized the error of looking to others to give me something I didn’t have for myself. I found Love once I accepted the risk of pain and sacrifice that come along with it.
I accepted Love once I understood Love as imperfect perfection. It is gritty, ugly, wounded, aching, neglected, humble, and yet it is restorative, life-giving, empowering, healing, beautiful, and filled with peace. When I accepted this, I was able to see Love for what it truly is: …not unicorns and rainbows in a Garden with God, but a ray of light in the darkness of hell that reminds us no matter how thick the night is around us, we have hope; and we are not alone.
The more I feed that light [love], the more it grows…and grows…and grows… until (eventually) it consumes the darkness and I am enveloped in Light.
Healing began when I accepted Love as it is and not for what I expect (or desire) it to be; and it continues.