Love is Hard (Pt. 1)

It is.  It truly, sincerely, unequivocally is.  There is no going around it; there are no shortcuts.  There is a Guidebook but no script, no clear-cut dialogue, no clean surgical procedure.  People are not character archetypes – they don’t always follow a pattern.  Loving people is like doing a three-legged race through a minefield that goes on forever while blindfolded.  You are absolutely going to come out scarred, and perhaps missing a few limbs.

Off-the-bat, many people will decide then that love really is too hard, and so it is better to serve oneself.  But this is even more painful, for you will find yourself leaping bounds from hobby to hobby, Netflix film after Netflix film, chocolate cake after chocolate cake, discarding friends and lovers here and there when they become too “needy.”  The bottomless pit within you will grow and throb and become more apparent by the day with no end in sight.  Some will try to drown this out by shoving more things within themselves, more self-love, more nice things, more hobbies, more chocolate cake, all while pushing themselves further into isolation.  Others will seek for fame and fortune, for affirmation, for bigger and better things, until they realize that this, too, is maddening and hopeless, for the void within them has become like a bleeding heart, pumping loudly in their ears.

So then you decide, maybe self-love isn’t so great after all.  Maybe, despite all of the difficulties, it is better to give yourself to others, to go through the pain of love, to work hard to build friendships.  But anyone who has ever tried to love someone perfectly understands that it is, quite frankly, impossible.  Because not only do your own faults and your own ego get in the way, but also that of the other person’s, and this may be tripled or quadrupled depending on how many people you are trying to love.  Suddenly your life becomes a violent asteroid field (it is no wonder that sociopaths often pop up in families with many children).  And thus we return to the title – love is hard.

Most if not all lives involve a combination of love for others and self-love, and herein lies the problem – the self-love almost always gets in the way of loving others.  Not that everyone must hate themselves now, because then you truly cannot love anyone, but it is always in feeding too much of your own self that you starve others of your love.  As demonstrated above, feeding yourself rather than risking love for other people is fruitless, so we can safely say that in starving others of love you also starve yourself.  It is as if (and we’ll touch more on that in the next part) we were designed to love others, because we are made in the very image of love.  This is because we cannot truly have love without giving it to others, otherwise it is a complete distortion of love and is no longer love at all.  Being loving means giving love – love is an act, not an attribute.

But now we have another problem – how do we love others?  We can never do it perfectly – often far from perfect, actually, and in fact once we reach to achieve an act of perfect love we tend to lose it in our own pride at the accomplishment! – and so we will often end up hurting people instead.  So how do we rid ourselves of our pride so that we may love and be in harmony with others (for you must know, love is infectious and eventually after loving someone long enough they will begin to return the favor)?  I will tell you that we can’t; the entire sum of human history can tell you as much, and even now as we consider ourselves to live civil lives, there are still atrocities in this world, and people are still awful towards one another.  But there is hope if you are willing to take a leap of faith…

To be continued…

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