I’m reading a book about love at the moment. It’s not a dating book, or a romance novel, but it is about loving people.
I don’t believe in half-hearted love; I don’t think there can be such a thing. Love is many things, but it is not apathetic. I had a beautiful conversation the other day (you know – the kind when you talk about everything, get a little deep, pull back the curtains of small talk and connect with another person for real) and it came up that the opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. (Wikiquote tells me Elie Wiesel said it first, whoever that is...)
I also don’t believe we can love everyone; the heart wants what it wants*. I sometimes wonder if there is a wilder beast in the world than the heart. Soldier is a song by Ingrid Michaelson and she says: ‘The battle with the heart isn’t easily won ... but it can be won.’
Love is not rational. That is something I truly believe. Love should be ridiculous, pointless, whimsical, without thought of consequence, or of getting anything in return. We should love without reason, even without hope sometimes, wildly, recklessly, passionately.
I reckon loving in this way is a magnificent, exciting adventure. It’s a rollercoaster, with ups, downs, crazy loops and almost unbearable forces at times. And yeah, it's scary sometimes, but I think when you look back, even if you weren’t loved in return, you’ll know you truly lived.
Interesting that those two words are only one letter different, don’t you think?
*I do think we can be loving towards everyone but, in this context, that’s not the same as loving them...