One thing that bothers me about society is our obsession with love, and yet for as obsessed as we are with it, there is still so little of it in the world. Every book, movie, TV show, and song describes our quest for true, lifelong love, specifically romantic love. We talk about finding love and losing love, falling into it and falling out of it.
We tend to see love as a fated thing; either we are destined to love someone or we are not, and if we are not, we have no control over whether we fall out of love. In our minds, we are at the mercy of fate. That thought is terrifying, and yet it is captivating. We can’t wait to be under the influence of a destiny so wonderful and so terrible. We give up jobs, our hearts, and other relationships in pursuit of that one, destined and fated love that will perfectly satisfy us.
Some of us spend our entire lives looking for that perfect love, and when we can’t find it, we become disillusioned and cynical of the world and the people in it. Or we do find it, or think we do, and someday we wake up to realize that this one, perfect person is a real pain in the neck sometimes. And we start to wonder if this love is true. Then we believe is isn’t, and never was, and we throw away what we had to go on to pursue that one elusive, perfect love, certain that if we could just catch the tail end of it, all of this would be worth it.
I propose a different concept. Cynical as it my sound, the truth is that we will never find perfect love in another human being, because human beings are not perfect. Sometimes love does seem to be destined; I’m not sure how that all works, but I do know that meeting someone you love is only part of the equation. It takes work, lots of really hard work, to keep love strong. We are not at the mercy of love or at the mercy of fate. Circumstances may bring us together or pull us apart, but it is our responsibility, if we choose to love someone, to keep loving them, even if they do end up being a pain in the neck.
Sometimes there are exceptions. Sometimes the person we love ends up being just a really bad person. But I’d venture to say that more often than not we throw at promising relationship away because we have a wrong perception of what love is. We think conflict and imperfections and a departure from all our hopes and dreams shows weakness in the relationship, when sometimes they are just obstacles that need to be loved through and that will make the love stronger when they are overcome.
So that’s my two cents. I’ve outlined them in two convenient stanzas, poetically. And they are much more succinct than the above ramblings, but it’s something to chew on :o). Enjoy.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8 NIV).
(Not Another) Love Poem
Disbelief, luck, and blessing,
grins and sparkling eyes.
Jellied knees and pounding hearts,
so this is love.
Stubbornness, pride, and crying,
prayers and giving grace.
Humble words and knitted souls,
So this is love.