To Some, Love is an Experience. To others, it’s an Illusion.
Love is to the heart what choreography is to an artist. The challenge however lies in agreeing on what the heart is. Is it the organ that pumps the blood? Is it the literal mind that powers the whole functional human being or is it the reason? Reason is what encompasses thinking.
Why I invoke the aspect of reason is because most people think about love seriously. It does not happen accidentally. By the way reason is very important even for the sustenance of the relationship post the cozy period. This is sometimes the very reason some people say, let me go think about it from the very onset.
An instance triggered my thoughts along these lines a few weeks ago and I promised myself to write about it. That day of writing is today. But first I will begin by narrating the incidence before we can draw a few lessons from it for our own good.
I was going through town when I beheld this Indian couple in their late eighties or early nineties walking in town. The husband was using clutches while the woman was walking given the fact that she looked slightly younger. The lady seemed to be walking a few inches ahead of the husband but for the short time I watched them, one fact was sure that it is the man who was leading.
At some point the lady tried to change route and head another way and the husband quickly reminded her from behind that the right route was a different one. They then had to follow it. Age had really caught up with them but ideally the love had remained the icon of hope for them.
As I went my way, my thoughts drifted far away and I found myself wondering why some people luckily lived together for a long time to their deaths while others separate barely a few months or even years into their marriages. Could it be our look on life or is love the issue?
I remember exploring this topic on one of our random talks with a bunch of my friends a long time ago and we ended up agreeing that it’s the mystery of marriage. The same way your friend ends up marrying plan less and lives happily whereas your other friend who keeps insisting on plans ends up marrying too and living miserably. But does accepting things just like that mean they are so?
In my thinking, I wondered what had kept that old couple together for ages and I realized only one thing could have done that; commitment. It is commitment that leads to a birthing of humility, patience, servant-hood leadership, perseverance and a sacrifice for the other person.
I will equate marriage to a game and borrow a leaf from what I read in Pat William’s book Leadership Excellence in which he gives insights that can lead to a success of a football club for the players and coaches. In his advice, commitment takes a central part.
He says, “The ancient Greeks had four different words for four different kinds of love. The particular form of love I’m talking about here—love that is a voluntary and deliberate choice—is a love the ancient Greeks called agape (pronounced ah-GAHpay). Agape love is a deliberate commitment to love even when the object of that love is neither lovely nor lovable. That means you’ve got to agape love your players (your troops, your employees, your congregation) even when they mess up, break rules, lose games, and break your heart. You have to stick with your decision to love your players even when your emotions are roiling with anger, hurt, and disappointment.”
He adds, “You forgive the unforgivable. You choose to say yes when your emotions say no. You love regardless of political differences, language differences, cultural differences, religious differences, or sexual orientation. It doesn’t mean you don’t sometimes have to sever a connection. You have to maintain discipline and enforce the rules.” Of course in this, you do it in a loving way and end up loving each other which means you maintain your relationship with them.
This advice was for an entirety of live and made even more sense in marriage. I bet if I went and asked the old couple I met in town how they had held it together for that long, their answers could have not deviated any far from that advice given by Pat Williams.
In that commitment, they built on the little beautiful experiences made out of the wins over their challenges to keep them going.
Whereas these experiences become a cementing tool for those who choose to commit, others decide to sail through the oceans as per the winds and end up with only illusions. As it has been over time, it is all about choice. The ocean is vast and sailing by the winds without any simple commitment to choose the sail path can be fatal.
God says that there is no sin too big that He cannot forgive it. Then we humans find a ‘mistake’ too big not forgive. Well, seems we choose to take reason out of the room into the dustbin and instead use the literal tool that pumps blood; the heart instead of mind. The reason why we cannot stay together for any long.
Those who choose to let go choose to do so because their commitment lies on a strand of string. Any small waves becomes destructive. The strongly committed are like a house whose foundation is built on the rock. It stands strong against any strong waves. They choose to be together no matter what comes their way. After all, is this not the test of love?
We may not agree with most people on this, maybe including myself, but we must tell ourselves the truth. We are products of our choices. The products we are, then, point to the choices we made over time in our life journeys.
I wish you all the best in your love and marriage lives buddies.