Love… Oh love…
Love is the one thing that makes us feel alive.
It’s the essence of our being. It draws in all kinds of elements.
To love is to be vulnerable. To be vulnerable is to love.
Here are just some of the lyrical examples of how the world sees it:
“This is love, to feel alive, breath away from a constant fight.”
“Love is not a victory march, it’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah.”
“Loving can hurt… Loving can heal.”
“Love lifts us up where we belong.”
“Love is patient, love is kind.”
“Love is wanting to be loved.”
“All you need is love”
There is so much hope that love brings, because hope is sourced from love.
When people speak about love, the most stories you’ll hear will be of the romantic times between couples, the times when people felt supported, understood, cared for. There are a lot of things that form part of our understanding when we’re on the receiving end of love, or when love is equally shared between two people, or even in a group, when you can see the beauty that love can bring into life.
Now, I’m all for it. Without love, I am convinced, nothing would be able to stand. We would be the murderers of ourselves way before someone else would even think of waging war on us, were it not for love.
However, there is a harsh – even though just as precious and beautiful – truth to love as well.
Let me quickly take you back to just two of those lines mentioned above:
“Loving can hurt.”
“It’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah.”
And just for the heck of it, a bit of a twist on one of the most popular Christian sayings:
The verse stating that love is patient, if taken back to the New King James version, it puts it like this:
“Love suffers long.”
Suddenly it’s not such a cute picture as what we know as patience anymore.
Now some of us had the smile of Grace and Luck over our lives, and didn’t have to see everything there is to it to truly suffer. But there are those of us who, even though we live and breathe love, had and have to face the pain and sorrow and hell of the sufferings all concerned with love. The things that made us bleed out to the point where all that was left of us, were pale husks with “LOVE” written all over, very much the same as a documented cause of death.
Here are some of the ways that those of us who couldn’t jump the gun, had and have to go through. The suffering can come in many ways, and these are but a few:
in the name of love
for the sake of love
because of love
in spite of love
thanks to love
Love creates different atmospheres for different people in the same room at the same time.
Where for one, love is the enjoyment of company, for another it is the source of rejection.
Where for one, love is to stand by to help, for another it gives an excuse turn their backs.
Where for one, love enables the ability to forgive, for another it is to be forgiven.
Where for one, love gives reason to rejoice, for another it gives reason to mourn.
Where for one, love is the ultimate prize, for another it is the ultimate sacrifice.
Where for one, love can be sincere, for another it can stir up disappointment.
Where for one, love brings unity, for another it causes a feeling of betrayal.
Where for one, love is to be a fool, for another it is to be on the battlefield.
Where for one, love gives courage, for another it leaves them defenseless.
Where for one, love can bring healing, for another it can bring heartache.
Where for one, love is to support, for another it gives a reason to vanish.
Where for one, love brings hope, for another it brings absolute despair.
Where for one, love is to live on, for another it is to die.
Sadly, the one’s suffering is rarely understood, even though it might be seen, by the one experiencing euphoria. It becomes increasingly difficult to relate and to and engage with the true suffering that love brings to the one, when the other is having the blast of their lives thanks to love. We ever so often choose to engage with the light side of love when we have the choice to do so, rather than sitting with the one crying out from a place so deep they can hardly be heart screaming.
With the understanding of long-suffering, love is the ultimate death sentence.
Love, much like writing, exposes the truth within the heart of the person. This is only exposed if the one wrestling with love opens up for vulnerability to move in.
You can only love to the extent that you’re willing to receive both love and its companions, which can be any of those mentioned above, and many more.
A leading of quotes flowed from this observation:
“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” – Eden Ahbez
Oh, how great a thing it is to learn. But there are times that we learn only the first part, the part where we give and give and give, and yet, nothing comes in return. This is what can truly kill. This is the very thing that bleeds the heart completely dry. But yet, even though we fear that the heart would run dry, there is always a bit more to give. There will always be a glimpse of beauty, no matter how torn the heart of the lover.
“There is no remedy for love but to love more.” – David Henry Thoreau
Even through the pain, the rejection, the betrayal, the heartache, through the agony of it all, we must still keep on loving. We have the opportunity, at every turn, to turn our hearts cold. On so many occasions, it even seems logical. Block out the hurt, reject those who reject you – and not even out of spite, just out of defense over our hearts. But yet, in that moment, it can ever so easily turn into a state of “reject those who could reject you.” And this is how the world becomes cold. So then, the only remedy for love and its companions, is to love more, and risk it all – all over again.
Love is the poison. Love is the antidote.
Just as love has death in its waking story, so it has life. Love is the balance of the two. Sadly, some people experience more of death than life in their story of love, and again, it makes the world cold. But the only thing that can illuminate the darkness of death, is having the dead being raised to life through the love of another.
There are some of us who went through death itself, all for the sake of love – both in giving and receiving. This rarely ever means that the heart is given a fair chance to rest before the next big risk is on its doorstep. But within that risk, is the potential of love finally running back, to heal the heart of all the pains it had to go through to get there – all the risks it had to take that only brought death.
So even though there is both light and darkness, both life and death, love will never run out of demand. There have always been, and will always be a chance to both give and receive love.
It is love that brings the illuminating light to the world. And when the final risk is there, demanding, it is love that allows us the step forward towards the rest that comes.