Love, when you think about it, should be the easiest thing.
You find someone you love, who loves you, you share, confide, trust, believe in, and respect. And it goes on and on.
But not in this day and age it seems. Well, not for most of us. Why is that? Has the world changed so much that love is out of date? Or are we just out of step with it? Do we want too much? Or are we too flighty to settle for anything that smacks of comfort?
How many times have you thought you’ve found it only to have, after a few years, the birds fly? And why? Do they get scared that it may actually be the real thing and they’re unprepared for it? Or do they think something better may exist outside and so off they go only to realize months or years later that it did not and that they have actually killed the very thing they were craving? The very thing that may not come again.
Sex is easy. Any fool can do it.
Love is difficult. It requires trust in a suspicious world. It requires commitment in an undisciplined age. It requires effort from a lazy soul.
Paul McCartney was once asked why, out of all the women in the world that threw themselves at him, he settled for Linda. And he replied that it happened one day when they were walking down the street and she turned to him and said, “Y’know, I could make you a loving home.” To Paul, who had grown with a loving dad and mum (until her death at too young an age) it had been everything he had secretly craved. Linda had uttered the magic words and she did good on her promise and made his home one filled with family and love until she was tragically taken from him. But they had experienced one of the great loves.
Are we too spoiled to see a great love when it finally appears? Or do we just want to experience it for a night or two before moving on…to what? The nothingness we have grown comfortable with?
Perhaps we are really only comfortable with ourselves. Perhaps we are so scared of being hurt that we hurt ourselves by denying us the chance of something more.
Or does it run deeper?
I remember in the Sixties there were a quote people used to write on walls that said, “Is God Dead?” Well, perhaps love is dead. I mean, real love.
To give unconditional love means to actually love something more than your own ego. But then, as the Indian mystic Sai Baba once said, “Ego is the cause of all problems in the world. Take your ego out of the way and you see things as they really are. With clarity.”
They say you only find love when you’re not looking for it. I have to agree. Several times I have found it when I had given up and firmly closed the door. Lost interest. Lost belief. And was content to just watch and be amused by other people’s follies. And then it arrives.
“Love walks in and takes you for a spin…”
We live in a cynical age. A fast age. We have the world at our fingertips. We can access any knowledge within seconds yet do we comprehend it? It is impossible to have a conversation in a restaurant anymore without the person you’re chatting with accessing their iPhone to check messages or even returning calls. And maybe that’s where the real truth lies.
Perhaps we don’t have the concentration anymore to develop real relationships. Instead, we settle for convenient ones that don’t tax us too much.
Or do have relationships whilst still keeping our eyes on the door lest a better option enters the room? If that is what you’re doing, I’d suggest you’re not in love.
Who knows? And sadly, I’m beginning to wonder, who cares?
(c) Frank Howson 2014