Do I dare talk of love? Well, I will not be so bold and naive as to attempt to define what love is. I have no problem, however, asserting what love is not.
How can anyone put conditions on love and still call it love? Isn't conditional love nothing more than a nice arrangement, an enjoyable situation, a temporary state that exists only as long as certain conditions exist? When we attempt to make love conditioned upon what the object of our affection says or doesn't say...does or doesn't do...then, sadly, we are actually failing to love in the first place.
It is so very common to hear people "qualify" love by saying things like:
- I will love him as long as he makes me happy
- I will love her as long as she is always honest
- I will love her as long as she is faithful (this one nearly everyone agrees on)
- I will love him as long as he is kind to me, shows proper respect to me, whatever.
These kinds of common statements should be challenged if we actually are seeking true love!
When we love, do we not embrace everything about the person? Her perfections and imperfections, her laughter and her shouts, her gentle touch and her bad habits, her generosity as well as her selfish needs, the way she is now as well as the way she has been and will be? Do we love the person or a set of behaviors? Do we love the arrangement or the soul, itself, which has merged with our own?!? And when we proclaim love for a person, are we not meant to be proclaiming something that is never-ending?
Most people actually do understand the concept of unconditional love when it comes to their children. We do not so easily disown children as we so easily toss aside lovers or spouses. Yet how strange that is, since romantic love asks for all of our being while parenthood requires only parts.
"Modern-thinking" people so easily sneer at those traditional marriage vows, "For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, until death do we part." These days people tend to agree that such a notion is quaint; that to walk away from a relationship when things "don't work out" is the right thing to do. These same people will never love in the truest sense because love is not an arrangement! Love is the merging of two souls at a level so deep that they become one and cannot be separated under any circumstance!
When two people open their hearts to unconditional love, what they find is something so real, so secure that they can comfortably fall into the hands of love without fear. They can be free, they can discuss anything, pursue anything. Their love creates a positive, never-ending feedback loop. It is a spiral in which there is no tug-of-war between two beings but there is, instead, a constant never-ending source of growth and even newness.
I have a feeling I'm not finished with this topic...