“Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it…It really is worth fighting for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk everything, you risk even more.” ~ Erica Jong
Before a necessary pause, there was one more post to write so as to replace the one I deleted last week. But on what subject? Surely not love again.
But, it seems that’s what I was supposed to write about. As I researched different subjects, I kept coming across the same few words that had to do with love, which of course I ignored at first. But then came a poem…same words, same message. Later, a random article, and finally, a few days later, two long quotes. The same words tugging at my sleeve: “in the end, all we have left is love.”
All we have left.
When anything is all that’s left, the implication isn’t exactly one of fortunate abundance. Unless you’re left with the Hope diamond or similar, it sounds rather sad, doesn’t it? “Look, this is all you’ve got left…Gee thanks.”
On top of that, we say “in the end, all we have left is…” at times when things haven’t gone all that well…to put it mildly. We either hit a wall or fell into a deep rut, and it obviously happened at the tail end of a significant struggle or upheaval, otherwise there would be no “in the end” remark.
But, love is really special. And to me, everything we do in life, from appreciating nature, raising kids, adopting animals, cleaning a house we like living in, working at something that is rewarding, helping someone, buying flowers, listening to music, meditating, going to a museum, writing or painting, taking a walk, playing an instrument or game…is a manifestation of a fundamental something called love.
I picture love as a small key, an invitation, something whose worth lies in the potential it leads to. And what a potential it is…as love opens the door to hope, forgiveness, tenderness, affection, passion, trust, healing, strength, confidence, joy, clarity, balance, certainty, inspiration, growth, creativity, wellness, connection, guidance, comfort, pleasure, excitement, purpose….and the list keeps going on and on.
Such a small word…a small key…for such treasure. Not too bad if this is all we have left.
And yet, it seems some look at it wishing all that was left after a crisis would be rather more substantial, something to trade with…like I don’t know, a bag of gold, a goat, a gift certificate to Macy’s. After all, what’s a small key worth? It’s not shelter, food or water, and it certainly doesn’t pay the electric bill.
The saddest reality I’ve come across is that some people don’t seem to really want love or its entourage of gifts. Just the other day, someone explained in all seriousness that in their view, love needs to have strict boundaries, because it’s essential to hide our vulnerability, and reveal as little as possible (if anything) in life…otherwise all we’re doing is exposing ourselves to pain and abuse, not to mention take on needless responsibilities and complications that always lead to disaster.
Apparently not everyone wants or considers they need love in the sense of a deep connection to anything…on the contrary. Some believe that love/connection are socially conditioned illusions that create unrealistic expectations and pressures we should ignore at home and at work, opting instead for momentary pleasures or avoidance of pain. Love/connection lead to restrictions, loss of freedom and even ‘unnatural’ life goals. (Meanwhile, anyone who doesn’t see beauty or value in life is diagnosed with severe depression, thus dysfunction…but ok, let’s have double standards and call it a day.)
So then, for those who feel this way and live this way, of what use is that small key? In fact, it’s depressing and annoying that in the end, any end, all that would be left is this illusion, cliché and burden called love.
Then again, there is the other version. The version where “in the end, love is all we have left” is the most beautiful, humbling and frankly, miraculous conclusion. Because all that’s left is, in fact, everything.
And not only that, but after you hit a wall or fall into a deep rut, at the tail end of a great struggle, you know what is left is what’s most real, enduring, valuable and worthy of trust. And not because someone or society says so, but because you’ve lived the proof.
Obviously not everyone agrees with love being the source and foundation of everything in life and in every sense. Therefore some will only see a small key.
Still, I do wish that everyone would see this great gift, understand its meanings, realize that it is not only essential but always available, and then use it…use that key, embrace the potential it brings without restriction or fear, allowing it to surprise and teach, open and heal whatever each of us needs help with opening and healing.
It’s quite something to imagine how much happiness would suddenly blossom in the world, how many unexpected possibilities. Material and other hardships would become less, all burdens would be lighter, and so many previously unattainable goals would suddenly come within reach.
And what a beautiful thing that would be to witness.