Friday, March 15, 2013
When I say 'love', I mean it in a general sense - love between mother and son, father and daughter, friends, siblings, spouses, whatever. I say this now because all too often, when people hear the word 'love', they think it only applies to husband and wife. That's not true.
What I'm primarily thinking at the moment, is how much love hurts. A lot of books and movies portray it as a beautiful feeling, all warm and glowing and pleasant. But that's really only one aspect. There is a more painful aspect of love - it's hard to put into words. We've all been at the point when we worried or were afraid for someone we love. Maybe you lost a loved one. Maybe someone you loved left you. Maybe someone you loved was in pain and you wanted to help but couldn't.
At those times, haven't we all wished with all our heart that there was no such thing as love? Wouldn't it be so much easier to be dead to the feeling, and not have to love someone who was hurting?
It would be easier. Lately, I've been wishing I did not feel love. When someone you care about wants to give up, throw the towel in, or hide in their room and cry, it hurts. You know the feeling - that moment when your heart seems to seize up, and it feels like some monster has your heart in its fist and is squeezing tighter. You feel like you want to cry, but you might not be able to, either because you are surrounded by people who might not understand, or you're just incapable of doing so. Even if you don't feel like that often, I'm sure you have at least once in your lifetime.
So, why does love hurt? And why do we put up with it? Why don't we just stop caring, and become an emotionless robot? It would hurt less.
We don't stop caring because we can't. It's physically impossible to be completely apathetic about everything and everyone.
God didn't create us to be emotionless. He gave us our emotions for a reason. We may not know what that reason is, but it is there, regardless of whether we understand it or not.
A very wise friend of mine once told me, "In some ways, I think it's a glimpse of what God feels towards us... a love that hurts and longs to help..."
Her words are very true. I never thought of it that way before, but once she said it, I started to realize that she was right. God continues to love us, no matter what we do, and He wants to help, but let's face it - a lot of the time, we just don't listen. It's hard for us to hear Him, and then follow through with his plans.
And He loves us anyway.
He hurts for us when we are hurting, in much the same way as we hurt for our friends and loved ones when they are hurting.
I think that my friend has the answer to that constant question: Why does love hurt? I believe that she has figured it out. Love hurts because it is a glimpse into how God feels about us. We might not know why God gave us that aspect, or what His purpose is for it. But we don't need to. We just need to learn to accept it.
Accepting it doesn't mean it will stop hurting. But it does mean that we will have a better understanding of why we feel this way.
I still wish it didn't hurt so much to love someone. And I still sometimes wish that I didn't have to love anyone. After all, not caring means you won't feel the pain and sorrow when your loved one leaves you.
But that's not the right way to think. Instead, think about this - how would your life have been different if you did not have that loved one in your life? Maybe you would have been in less pain... but your life would have been all the worse for it. Everyone you meet or speak to has some sort of gift or word of wisdom to give you, if you just open up and let them give it to you.
When all is said and done... when I think of my friends or family members who have left me, whether by death or by their own choice... when I begin to wish I had never met them, I remember the times I spent with them, talking and laughing and trusting... and I realize that even if they're gone now, I still have their memories. And I am a better person because of those memories.
So maybe the next time you begin to feel bitter that love is causing you pain, think about that. Instead of counting your woes because of the hard times your loved ones go through, count the blessings of the good times you have spent together. I think you'll find that the blessings outnumber the woes by far.