This is no small reality; it can break connections that never should be broken, or it can break connections that should never have occurred in the first place. My question is, how do we love freely despite this?
I believe that true love is free. It is a gift freely given, with no expectation. No expectations! This seems to me a difficult, if not impossible, task. We spend our whole lives collecting expectations, consciously or not, and when they are not met, we get angry, hurt, disappointed, et cetera. I'm still trying to figure out how to love without expectation, and so far what I've discovered is that 1. it's hard, 2. it takes daily recommitment, and 3. it involves the oh-so-fun process of letting go. (Ah, letting go. Yet another task that we're supposed to know how to do without any specific instructions.)
Anyway, I also think that free love is given with the idea that the one being loved should have the freedom to be themselves, to make their own choices and mistakes, and to pursue their own heart's desire... Even if their heart's desire is not you or what you want for them.
Ouch, right? This is the fuel that makes people run from relationships because it just freaking hurts. If those we love don't meet our expectations, causing pain or disappointment, we may walk away to protect our hearts. I'm not saying this is always a bad thing to do. Sometimes the best way to love someone is to walk away from them. Sometimes we do have to force separation to save ourselves. I've done this myself.
But sometimes I wonder, what if we're not supposed to run every time? What if we let go of our expectations long enough to see that true love thrives without them? Who would still be in our lives?
If love is truly free, we must love without the expectation to be loved the same way in return. The point of love is not to receive, although that is the hope. The point of love is to love, even if we have to love from afar. Distance doesn't dilute its existence or purpose. Love has only the boundaries we place on it.
... Of course I could be totally wrong about this whole notion. I've got a lot of loving and learning to do.
"The success of love is in the loving - it is not in the result of loving.
Of course it is natural in love to want the best for the other person, but whether it turns out that way or not does not determine the value of what we have done." - Mother Teresa
"And the person who loves wholeheartedly feels free." - Paulo Coehlo