One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love. –Sophocles
Love cast out fear. – John, the Revelator
Love is the culminating point – where we put the True Self to its greatest use. Love is a profoundly caring and intensely passionate and personal connection that generates respect, honesty, and reciprocity (interchange – give and take). Love also involves a physical, emotional, and spiritual attraction to another. We are driven by the powerful urge to love and to be loved, for love is intrinsic to our social nature. By trusting another to know one’s own self through their eyes, we free our self to union – to love and be loved. Loving connections convey the ultimate expression of the authentic self through an active engagement of Self, Others, and God. But while love is frequently identified as life’s most fulfilling experience, it can also be our most difficult pursuit — it often gets confined to only one of these three crucial relationships. Authentic love may begin by engaging only Self, only Others, only God – but if the love is authentic it always leads to the other two.
Loving will be a sacred connection — the highest human function, entrusted to us by God. When that sacred trust is broken, by us or by another, we feel it. When a lover does not act with the kindness and respect that a sacred love naturally includes, we can feel that opening up to that person was a big mistake. Although loving may include sex, a relationship based only on sex is not love. Love is a connection that opens the inner floodgates of one’s being to another. Because of the inherent vulnerability of exposing the self in a relationship, you feel love when you feel safe and are comfortable enough to “let go” of your defenses. In this healthy expression of love, both people are accessing their True Self.
Love hurts. The saying is both tired and true. Yet, as much as it gets lamented in pop songs or portrayed on movie screens, we don’t really let it sink in. Part of us feels, once we find the right person and make the smart choices, love will be easy — blissful, less complicated than all those other relationships around us. The twisted truth is, the closer the relationship and the better the choice we’ve made, the more pain we can expect to feel. Love doesn’t just wound us, because people disappoint us or because circumstances change. It can hurt most when it is at its best.
When I heard the song, “Under Sayang” I recalled King Ahab and his wife Jezebel, the Evil Queen who controlled her husband and made him deny his God. She lived in fear. Ahab was a greedy cry baby who wanted a piece of land that belonged to his neighbor. Jezebel used his authority to take the land for him – an infamous codependent relationship. Swindoll calls King Ahab’s reign, the Petticoat Government. Jezebel died a terrible death by falling down from her window and dogs came and licked her blood…gruesome.
Love does not demand. Love is kind and generous. [/restrict]