The previous post of the same title always felt incomplete, and most probably so will this one. There is another side to this concept of love that is almost entirely absent in our lives. Apart from the sincerity of gestures and goodwill towards each other, there is a bond that is established with each giving of ourselves that goes unnoticed. It escapes us because we have no expectations of it growing into anything more. Sometimes we even restrain ourselves actively from giving more because we are averse to the responsibility that goes with such a contribution. There is a beauty, a grounding, or maybe more accurately a homeliness in being able to connect with another human soul. It is accompanied by a sense of belonging and acceptance. But it is often short lived, if felt at all. I think love extends to every human interaction.
I’ve found that with each interaction that I share with another, especially when those interactions continue over an extended period of time, and the more familiar I become with the struggles and aspirations of the next person, the more likely I am to fall in love with their being. We always talk about giving of ourselves as an act of love, but I think surrendering our defenses is equally indulgent. To surrender requires trust, and trust reflects more of the person that is trusting than the one who is trusted. It is grounded in a sincerity to contribute or receive that which would otherwise not be possible to bring into being. That sincerity is fed by a desire, or more accurately a need to connect in order to feel significant.
The most fundamental source of inspiration that we receive is appreciation, or gratitude. It affirms our ability to make a significant contribution which indirectly validates our sense of purpose. Appreciation is an expression of love, but not just an appreciation of beauty. Instead, it is any form of appreciation that extends beyond the superficial. However, the intent (which can be argued is similar if not the same as sincerity) will either taint or embellish the expression of appreciation. It is in that moment that we find reason to fall in love, or to be repulsed.
The cynic in me compels me to acknowledge that every act is an expression of love. However, that expression is not always aimed at the other. If we look closely enough, we will always be able to determine whether the lover is immersed in a love for themselves, or a love for that which they pursue or indulge in. Even in the most despicable form of aggression or cruelty there is a love that is present for that which drives us to the point of such powerful expression. This ramble is losing its focus and its meaning, and perhaps in that is the confirmation that any contemplation of love is indeed a folly.
But the lingering thought that remains to be expressed is what affects me most profoundly. It is not the act of falling in love that demands the most of our senses but rather the gutting of love that does. In that moment of betrayal when the one whose being you have grown to love retracts or deliberately withholds their expression of love to you, it is in that moment that the realisation of the love that was shared is most often felt. Until that point it is most often taken for granted, if noticed at all.
I fall in love with the human spirit more times than I care to admit. And I scare many who are afraid to even consider that love may exist under such circumstances. Given the rarity of true compassion in the world, it is easy for an innocent show of concern or affection to be misconstrued for lust or inappropriate attention rather than love. This moral decay is not only robbing us of a wholesome living experience, it is robbing us of the ability to express sincerity without fear of being unfairly judged or entirely ridiculed.