For many years now, I have pondered that mythical, mystical phenomenon, spoken of as love.
Pondering things is kinda what I do. It is what one must do, if one refuses to listen, to the wisdom of the sages. I read some biblical wisdom about it years ago, and then promptly set that aside, because obviously love today would be nothing like it was two thousand years ago. I concluded eventually, that love was an emotional reciprocation, for goods, and or services rendered. Now I have come to believe I WAS WRONG.
I hear people talk about unconditional love sometimes. I also hear people talking about, how, if their spouse or partner were to do certain things, they would promptly end their relationship, with said partner. Then I have considered the aftermath of failed relationships, and the sadly vengeful behavior they often bring about, between people who once held their breath, in anticipation of each other. It seemed then, that love could be replaced by anger. If that were the case, then love would be an emotion.
I came to realize, that love was not so much replaced by anger as obscured by it.
Back to the biblical wisdom, “Love always protects”. Try insulting the spouse, of someone who’s marriage lies in ruins. They may let you get away with it, but their spouse’s flaws are not usually a subject they want to dwell upon. People often think they are uncomfortable in this situation for two reasons. Firstly, they feel guilty about how bad they have made their spouse out to be, and secondly, they are uncomfortable with the possibility that they might have to confess their own wrongs. I have come to conclude the real reason lies in a deeper place. Love still protects even when we wish it wouldn’t.
More biblical wisdom, ” love always trusts”. So your friend has been laid waste by his wife. Financially ruined, arrested on some trumped-up charges, the whole nine yards. Now she wants him to come over as though she is not the monster you can clearly see she is. The fool is going to go. Love always trusts.
“Love always hopes.” The other reason your foolish friend is going to go see his monster wife.
We arrive now, at the last point of that little tidbit of biblical wisdom, on the matter. “Love always perseveres.” The point that demonstrates that it is not, in fact, your friend who is the fool. It is this point that I pondered long enough to come to a conclusion that seemed an epiphany at the time. Some marriages end. People fight viciously hurt terribly and never get it together again. I originally came to conclude that either love did not always persevere, or perhaps it was never there, to begin with. Upon reflection, I discovered a possible third option. Perhaps love persevered without the marriage arrangement.
If love always perseveres it begs a few questions. Why? For that matter, how? I considered that the real battle in decimated marriage was actually one taking place between self and love by people too ignorant to realize the enemy lay within self and not within spouse. Having frivolously, foolishly surrendered ourselves to love when it first laid siege we consider that we ought to be able to walk free of it. Not So. Love plays for keeps.
So we don’t have love. Love has us. It creeps into our psyche, like a debilitating virus, to gradually become the default position of our very being. We can get angry as hell, but when the emotion passes love is still there, with all its restrictions upon our autonomy.
Regardless of the circumstances, love is where we will find ourselves when the dust settles.
So young one, before you wish for love, ask yourself if you would rather be you, or part of something more, that is able permanently to impact and possibly control you. For my part, I conclude that though love consumes little of one’s time, and not a great deal of attention until things go wrong, the value of love is without comparison in life.