A Short Guide to Love

Jesus It is healthy to crave the sweet taste of love, no matter how sour and bitter it can become when the fragile circumstances that sustain it collapse. Although the feeling can be seemingly ephemeral, even invisible or illusory, the most passionate souls embark on ambitious quests seeking love because they savor what they know has given their lives the greatest meaning and inspiration. Though there is often much pain, sadness, and disappointment along the way, that is no argument against it; rather it is proof of how rare and precious true love really is and how much will be endured in order to hold it close again.

February 6, 2002

What is essential: a passion for seeing the one you love, to never become lackadaisical or take them for granted, to remember how lucky one is to have found them, and to not only delight in the present but to fondly look forward. Anticipation is heightened by having hope and desire fuel a tension that ultimately finds its pleasurable release. Reward without anticipation is unsatisfying, but prolonged, mutual anticipation that eases continually closer to its goal creates a hunger that makes the subsequent meal delicious. It is even possible to anticipate meeting someone for several years, in which case, you are ensured that upon meeting them their spirit will forever more be with you in some way.

Though an object at rest tends to remain at rest, thus conserving energy, neither does anything interesting happen in exchange for its clever effort at maintaining safety. In love, as in life, those who do not attempt and fail will also not attempt and occasionally succeed.

To cheat oneself out of love is the most terrible deception; it is an eternal loss for which there is no reparation, either in time or in eternity.
Clean Breaks
The idea of retracting love and merely maintaining a warm friendship is an idealism that has no basis in reality. The best moments of passion, hope, and intimacy will always remain as memories whose lingering loss will only be frustrating and saddening. Though distance and time can heal the wounds, so too do they obstruct all that was originally attracting, thus obviating any second chances.

To share reality, and thus know life and thereby love, there must be a certain bravery and directness in communication. It is important for people to share what they are truly thinking instead of taking on the role expected of them and saying what is predictable and easy.

Perhaps you have dreams for which you await the perfect love, but better still is to discover the perfect love that inspires the most amazing dreams. Suddenly everything is possible and all difficulty is trivially overcome. What mortals suffer is no longer of any consequence because you share and live the dreams of the gods.

Any perfect love is the restoring of two separated spirits into a unified whole. Thus a soulmate is easily recognized and feels at once like an old friend you have known for years. Everything is easy together, inner tempos are immediately shared, understanding comes as instinct even for the most difficult things, and the world appears in the most optimistic light because one who was once apart has now been reunited with the other half it has always been missing. Perhaps a part of the Jungian collective unconscious, this breath of eternity offers new insights into the labyrinth of life -- suddenly one can see forward and backwards for thousands of years and understand the consequences of the present and all of the tragedy and triumph it reveals.

Holding Back
Hesitation reveals fear and in love there is no room for fear. Gamble everything, for all that matters and could be lost can be infinitely replenished. Do not endeavor to ration or preserve anything -- conservatives have no place in love. Any shields you put up to protect yourself also prevent you from sensing the most sublime subtlety. Give all you have and act with reckless disregard for how you might be hurt later for revealing your secrets and sharing your deepest essence.

One can only truly esteem him who does not look out for himself.

Until you have experienced the very different perspective on the world that results from the prolonged intoxication of love, you have every reason to doubt its efficacy and actuality. But when love overtakes you, you will be inspired to do things you never previously imagined, all complexity will unravel itself willingly before you, your energy will permit you to accomplish anything for your love, and because of all this any honest person will forever be a believer, even if they can never experience it again.

Marriage is merely a symbolic ceremony that is too often grossly inflated. This is not to say it is unimportant, but the gown, cake, and honeymoon are inconsequential compared to the practical details of spending many years with someone you love.

Marriage as a long conversation. When entering a marriage, one should ask the question: do you think you will be able to have good conversations with this woman right into old age? Everything else in marriage is transitory, but most of the time in interaction is spent in conversation.

When two people desire nothing more than to please the other in thoughtful, caring ways, this fuels a feedback cycle that increasingly gains energy and grows. Thus from a spark which casts a light of possibility blossoms a sustainable landscape which can beautifully erupt from time to time in blazes of passion that prove the power of romance.