Let’s talk about love today.
This morning, I went to Mass, and Father L said humans are created out of love. Thus, our nature is not to hurt but to love.
Something that’s always bothered me is why people become bitter when relationships end. They would say mean things to their friends about the ex, smearing her or his image in the process. Calling them names. Why do they do that to the people they supposedly loved?
I’ve been called idealistic many times before. (I also wonder why being one is such a bad thing.) They meant it in contrast with being realistic. They accused me of being ignorant of real-life experiences – because they misrepresent me as a pampered princess growing up – to understand the realities of this world. They called me naive.
But sometimes being idealistic or ignorant or naive could be positive. For example, today’s question: Why do they do that to the people they supposedly loved?
Having grown up without real difficulties or serious responsibilities, I had all the time in the world for thinking. Many years ago, when I experienced heartbreak for the first time, I was surprised to discover that I cannot say any bad word about this person who hurt me. On the second time, despite all the trash talk people who were supposedly consoling me said, I can’t get myself to say or think bad things about him.
I wondered if that was because I didn’t love them enough. But this would be untrue because I know in my heart there was nothing more I could have done or given at that time. I also wondered if that was because what I felt for them wasn’t true love. But that would be wrong because the very reason I can’t be cruel even to their memories is because I loved them.
Admittedly, I’ve been bitter over some people. I’ve had my fair share of trash talking to friends. And that is because I didn’t truly love them.
Because to truly love someone is to set them free. Of course, it’s almost impossible not to ask of something from the other person – I can’t imagine a truly unconditional love by a human being. You can only hope that you’d be enough for them and they’d choose you and stay with you forever, but that is something you can’t force or manipulate them to do. If you can’t set them free, that means you love yourself more than you love the other person. That means you love the things you do, the happiness they give you, the emotions they stir, or the future you envision with them… more than them.
Think about God for a second. He gave us free will. He loves us. He gives us everything. He nurtures us. But He doesn’t force us to follow Him. That decision is up to us… because we, his beloved, are free.
To love is to place the other person’s happiness before our own. (But take note I do not in any way condone staying with sociopaths and psychopaths. If their happiness is torturing and destroying you, by all means, leave.)
To try to give unconditional love is a tough choice that requires hard work but it will always be worth it. When you set them free, you are set free.