"If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they're yours; if they don't they never were…” Richard Bach (US writer) was the source of this quote. Usually the accompanying picture is of a butterfly, as if love were fragile and easily broken. Some people say that this is the most profound writing that they have eve heard. CRAP!
Love has nothing to do with being set free or owning someone…That is obsession, it isn’t love. Love doesn’t wear you down but builds you up, makes you more than you were.
I know a lot about obsession. It consumes you like a fire, taking over your personality and changing who you are. You say things that you don’t mean, you do things that you would never do, and you hurt not only the person that you supposedly love, but you hurt yourself and everyone around you. No matter how much we want to call this love, it isn’t. It is life on a rollercoaster where every little thing can send you plunging over the edge at 60 mile per hour speeds into a corkscrew, and putting your stomach in your throat. If you are an adrenaline junkie or a sadomasochist, this ride is exciting, frightening, and addicting; but it is NOT love no matter how hard you try to justify it. Been there, done that, and burned the crappy t-shirt!
Fairy tales tell us that Prince Charming will come on his white horse and turn our lives into “happily ever after”. Shakespeare leads us to believe that love overcomes the hate and anger of family rivalries; no obstacle is too great to overcome if you love each other. Of course, Disney shows us that there are always happy endings no matter what challenges two people overcome. These are shadows that haunt teenagers, making them reach out to grasp on to someone (that one special someone) who will make their life complete.
The hard part about defining love is that it is as tangible as smoke, different for each person (and like smoke, always causing your eyes to tear up). You can’t hold love in your hands. For love you need to let it fill your heart. Distance, time, even death can’t stop love. You love so many different people in your lifetime, parents, siblings, friends and even pets. Yet we are searching for the “one true love”of our lifetime.
I have been very fortunate to have known a great deal of love in my lifetime. My mom loved me no matter how much she was angry at me. My dad loved me even though I broke the rules of what a “good daughter” should be. My grandparents, aunts, uncles, and sisters loved me. Not to say that loving me was easy; they didn’t always like me or the choices I made, but they loved me none the less. With all that love, I still kept searching for more.
Along the way, I got confused and thought that obsession was love. I was willing to settle for passion rather than love.
The hard part is trying to describe what love is and how to find it. You think you see it out of the corner of your eye, yet when you turn your head, it is gone. Or like the shell game, you search under each shell looking for the
marble but it isn’t the one you pick. However, love has a way of finding you and I was privileged to have it fall into my life.
Words are inadequate to explain love. If people like Shakespeare struggle with it, who would think that I could?
Trust me, I’ve tried and I am not often at a loss for words. The ones that I choose seem to lack the full experience. It is like looking at photograph of cheesecake when you are dieting and starving. It lacks the full
experience. I can tell you how he makes me feel. I feel like a whole person. I can be myself and know that even no matter how yucky, he will love and accept me. No matter how tight he holds me, I feel only safe not trapped. I feel beautiful at 3 am in the morning without my makeup on and my hair sticking up. Rather than dismiss my ideas, he listens, asks questions and is open to what I am saying. When I help him with something, I am a superhero! And yet, with these words, I only scratch the surface. Just by putting the words to paper, I find that it isn’t complete. It is still like trying to catch smoke in your hands…always slipping through your fingers.
Maybe water is a better way to describe love... No matter how much you have, you can always have more.
Everyone deserves and needs it. While it is everywhere, it is hard to hold on to, you have to be adaptable to even grasp a drop. It is powerful enough to light a city or move a mountain and gentle enough to cradle you as you float in it. It cleanses and fills you up. It never really dies but changes forms, passion to comfort. It soothes and comforts you. It nourishes your soul.
Inferno or sparkling lake… you decide…
Musings from Michigan