I was going title this post, “love is a battlefield”, like that Pat Benatar song, but that would be inaccurate as love is not violent or should be violent. A battlefield is a place of extreme violence and attrition. Such a place can never be an inspiration for such a beautiful emotion as love.
There is an old saying; “if you love something let it go. If it returns to you it was yours. If it doesn’t return it was never yours”. Of course the cynic among us put their own twist on it by saying, “if it doest return, hunt it down and kill it”
Another version of this statement instructs us to “stalk it”. Whatever version you choose, rest assured that the simple but complicated emotion called love is enough to make the affairs of the heart a battlefield of churning emotions.
Years ago while walking through the isles of a grocery store I came upon an older black male who was doing some shopping by himself. I watched the elder as he picked up a can of something and was reading the label. Probably checking out the price, to see if it was with in his budget. Now i am not an empath, but the wave of emotion of loneliness that came off this man transfix me.
I thought to myself that i would never want to be in his shoes. I am a natural introvert, I enjoy the company of my own company. Over the years due to various circumstances, i have learned to pick when to be introverted and when to be sociable. Most people fail to see the difference between loneliness and aloneness.
Loneliness is being in a crowd and feeling hemmed in. Feeling like you’re on this island that nobody sees or care if you are noticed…or not. Aloneness is being in that same crowd and feeling quite comfortable on your little island. So much so that if somebody ventures over to talk to you, it would take you a good few minutes to get motivated in order to fully engage them.
The feeling of loneliness is also a by product of not being loved. Not having someone to care for them. Truly care for them instead of feeling “obligated’ to do as little as possible. If one feels unloved, they are often incapable of giving love. Whitney Huston sang that the greatest love of all can be found in you….YOU!
So many of us though, are ignorant to and in fear of the the YOU part of the loving equation. We project something called “love” on to others. Others that somehow attracts our interests. Often we don’t know why we are attracted to someone, so we latch on to superficialities of attraction and call it love. The superficialities i speak of are purely physical. Purely aesthetic. based on solely on how you look, how you dress, what you make or how your social status appears to you and others.
In different stages of our lives we have all interacted with people of different ages and social status based on our own false notion of what they should be and how they should present themselves. We even do it to our own children, this is why we get so easily disappointed when the object of our projection fails to live up to the projected image. We get upset and react accordingly.
There is a passage in the bible that has always resonated with me as a child.
1 Corinthians 13
1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (just a noise maker)
2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.
11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me
As men growing into ourselves when we extend genuine love to our siblings, parents, children, close relatives and complement, we are elevated in society. This elevation is different than the elevation of a woman. A woman’s very nature and image, if it is in balance, is all about love. A man’s very nature and image is viewed differently. A man who loves, appears gentle was at one time in the past, extremely admired, because that gentleness comes from a a place often accepted as fierce physicality.
When a man loves a woman in this way,… gentle, caring, considerate and compassionate, she feels secure and contented.
“A woman is a flower in a garden; her husband is the fence around it
As men we see women…or have been taught to see women as delicate creatures. Delicate flowers. What they never told us was what kind of flower women are. Just like all flowers are different yet have a basic nature of plants, women have their differences, but have basic nature natural to them. A true conusore of flowers and women overstand how to take care of each. Osho identifies how a gardener treats a flower.
“If you love a flower, don’t pick it up, because if you pick it up it dies and it ceases to be what you love. So if you love a flower, let it be. Love is not possession. Love is about appreciation”
Love is not possession!
This is such a simple, yet misunderstood sentiment. Love is not possession. This is where we engage in a battle. A battle with ourselves. Within our hearts. With our emotions churning chaotically. We seek to possess what we say we love. Yet failing to realize that very possessiveness is what drives our loves away. Love is a mature expression of your attraction to something or someone. The mature adults never fall in love, but grow in love. Growing in love is the turtle that starts out slow and steady and arrives at the finish line that way. Anything that starts out fast and explosive always spends its energy long before the finish.
This requires deep thinking.
If you love a person, if you say you love a person, you must accept the total person. With all their defects. Because those defects are part of the whole person. Never try to change a person you love, because the very effort to change them indicates that you pick and chose what to love and ignore the other parts. That is not real love. That is anything but love.
Now if that person chooses to change or clean up certain aspects of their defects, as long as it is done in sincerity and without compunction or discomfort, that person is showing us how much THEY love us! Showing how much they love us, that they are willing to become more symbiotic with us. Becoming more of a singular unit. Consequently you with all your defects must consider this:
The Chinese have a saying. Fall down seven times, get back up eight. Love is a process, that requires a multiplicity of effort. Yes the affairs of the heart IS a battlefield. But love itself is not. If anything love is a causality between your heart and your value system. The same value system that taught you that you must pick that flower, instead of admiring it. The same value system that teaches us that love is possessiveness.
As we journey into that unknown territory, we must hold this truth close to our chest.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
This is not the profile of a battlefield.