Monday, August 13, 2012

Love is free.

Sometimes we walk away from love, be it romantic, platonic, or familial. We walk from it because the pain is too great, or because we feel enslaved by the other. Somehow by giving our heart to another person, we give them the power to hurt us, and this is dangerous because they so often do. So, we run.

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


Pomeranian Catholic said...

Your posts often remind me a lot of Hans Urs von Balthasar's thoughts on love. Here's a sampling:

"After a mother has smiled at her child for many days and weeks, she finally receives her child's smile in response. She has awakened love in the heart of her child, and as the child awakens to love, it also awakens to knowledge: the initially empty-sense impressions gather meaningfully around the core of the Thou. Knowledge (with its whole complex of intuition and concept) comes into play, because the play of love has already begun beforehand, initiated by the mother, the transcendent."

The Pre-Primary Team said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MarieG said...

There is a design, an alignment to cry
Of my heart to see,
The beauty of love as it was made to be

-Sigh No More, Mumford and Sons