Love! It’s something I have wanted to write about for some time. It has been hard to express my feelings, but I will try.
Gandhi said: “Where there is love there is life.”
Over the years, I have heard friends in their second marriages speak of what went wrong in their first. Usually it was a combination of things – most were related to having personal priorities greater than family priorities. Other words describe it: Selfishness and immaturity.
It is hard for someone to love you if you are never there and it is hard to love someone who wants you with them all the time. A prisoner of love is still a prisoner.
But I’m not writing this as a blame thing. Nothing is really that simple.
Growth in careers or wealth are connected to the responsibility of taking care of family. It is easy for “becoming more important” to take over. The breadwinner needs the freedom to succeed. I know it happened to me when I was young. At one point in my life, I assumed that people loved me and I didn’t have to acknowledge that love. When I believed I was in danger of losing my sweetheart to illness, I discovered that I had been too self-engaged – that I had not either said or showed my love.
God found a way to set me straight.
It is not a sign of weakness to tell someone you love them, or to let them love you. I believe it is more a sign of strength because you are confident enough in yourself that you can allow yourself to be vulnerable. Love takes many forms. I have tried in my own way to define kinds of love in the most simple of terms. Here is what I came up with.
There is romantic love, which God gave us for purposes of procreation. Then there is caring love, where we care for a person for what they are, without limitations. There is the combination of the two, which I will call family love. With this combination comes dependence on each other, where the combination of the two lives is much greater than those lives would be alone. It’s where no one has to be controlling or controlled.
The need for survival and success are still realities, but those realities do not have to be all-consuming. Someone once wrote: “Give her a day and she will happily give you the other 364.” It works both ways.
I have heard guys say, “She knows I love her.” My response has been, “Maybe she does and maybe she doesn’t. When is the last time you told her so and showed her by making what she wants your highest priority?”
I have learned, much too late in life, that telling someone how you feel about them makes everyone feel better. I have been able to give of myself and have that gift accepted and returned. What a great feeling of comfort.
If you are a person of faith, loving is not really optional. Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” That’s universal. If you love, then so will you be loved.
Writing this has been a struggle. It is not perfect. If I try for perfection, I would never complete it at all. How do you feel about love?
Reach Murray Bass at 427-0744 or firstname.lastname@example.org.