Why do we hoard love?
This was a question on a Facebook post from a friend first thing this morning. I found it profound.
This friend, who shall remain nameless (no, not me, a real other person), has gone through a recent divorce from a man she still loves deeply. She fought hard for the survival of her marriage. She lost the battle. She still hopes she hasn't lost the war.
In contemplating her battle for her marriage, she found herself dwelling on the concept of love in our society. Her musings were deep and universal in our society today. Here are some of the questions she posed, paraphrased:
Why do we hoard love? Why do we treat it as something to be given only to the most deserving? Why does it take being shattered to find yourself again? Why are we taught the wrong the notion of love, that it is this feeling that we have to guard? Why do we believe love is something to be earned? Why don't we give it freely? Shouldn't we give love more freely? Why are we afraid to give and receive love?
I responded to her that I believe these to be the best questions ever posed.
I hate the Hallmark channel, Lifetime, and unrealistically romantic movies and books. I can't stand story endings that are saccharine sweet and tied up with a pretty pink bow. I think we are doing ourselves, each other, and especially our children a terrible disservice with these outlandishly happy storybook endings. Happy endings - sure. Too happy endings - no. We set ourselves up for unrealistic expectations for our own relationships. "I want to have the storybook romance in my marriage." Huh. Well. Good luck with that. Prince Charming? He's a cartoon character. The princess in the tower? Why do you think she's in there? Cause she's high maintenance.
Real love is not a feeling. Real love is not the same as lust (although, lust can be a part of it at proper times and circumstances). Real love is not about floating on air every moment of every day.
Real love is about making the choice to see the best in the other person while still seeing the reality. Real love is about wanting what is best for the other person without sacrificing yourself because the person opposite wants the same for you, and you should want the same for yourself. Real love is about accepting who the other person is in real life and choosing that person, the good and the bad. Real love is about making the daily choice to stick by and love this person no matter what the day brings unless the day brings no love for yourself, because extending love also means extending love to ourselves too.
Real love isn't just about man sees woman across the room and falls for her. That's one of many types. Love includes parent and child, neighbors, and strangers on the other side of the planet.
Want to know how to love? Read one of the most favored Bible passages for Christian based weddings, even if you aren't Christian. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7. Everywhere the word "love" is used, replace it with your own name. Now, you know how to love.
Sarah is patient, Sarah is kind. She does not envy, she does not boast, she is not proud. She does not dishonor others, she is not self-seeking, she is not easily angered, she keeps no record of wrongs. Sarah does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. She always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Say this as a mantra to yourself every day. Imagine what the world would be like if we all did this? These are the basics instructions on how to give the ultimate gift which should be given freely and without reservation. Yet, we reserve it anyway. Past hurts and traumas, wrong teachings, misunderstandings, and a society that treasures the self over others. These are our barriers to love. The answer to these barriers goes back to love. Love is the answer to the problem of love.
Love you all!
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Thanks for reading!
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