Love Until It Hurts

708. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” Mother Teresa

Today is St. Valentine’s Day – though you will read this the day after.

When I was a kid in school we decorated sacks and wrote valentines for everyone in our class. By the end of the school day we had a sack full of I-love-you notes and a belly full of cupcakes and sweetheart candies. Some of the valentines in the sack mattered more than others. For instance, in 1st grade I was in love with Nancy and when she put a valentine in my sack I was elated. And then I was scared: was she as excited by my valentine as I was by hers? I delight in Valentines Day because it is (or can be) a festival of the irrational; a day acknowledging the transcendent power of love. All day I thought of people I love dearly and although I only told a few, I basked in how many people on this planet I hold dear in my heart and wanted to send sweetheart candies printed with the phrase, “Be Mine!” Valentine’s Day is a celebration of things that cannot be measured.

All day I’ve smiled at the men passing me on the street carrying large bunches of flowers or strings of heart balloons. These rough tattooed or polished business suited men basically carrying a large sign signifying, “I AM IN LOVE,” looked sheepish and vulnerable to step beyond their macho and publically share their tender heart. It was refreshing to wander through the financial district surrounded by normally steely-faced men in ties blushing in excitement and fear: would their Nancy return their affection? As I passed through the metal detector in the Federal Building a box of heart cookies was delivered to the security staff. The men and women in badges grinned and shared; they were thrilled.

The Odyssey is one of the great pieces of literature in the western world. It is the story of Odysseus trying to return home to his wife Penelope after the Trojan War. He tries for years to return home with the gods and elements working against him. He loses his ship and his crew. He survives monsters and Cyclops and witches. He is stranded and held hostage. He suffers terribly. He loves until he hurts and in his hurt he finds more and more love. This greatest of Greek epics is a story of the triumph of love.

Stories of great love are not stories of ease. Stories of great love are about reaching through fear, the irrational, the elements, stepping into the unknown and with the gods stacked against you, and yet you continue; still you persevere. Step into the hurt. Reach across the fear and take their hand in yours. Take a chance and say, “I love you so much that it hurts.”

One Response

  1. Thank you for the reminder and acknowledgement that stories of great love are not stories of ease. Forget the, ‘and they lived happily ever after’, the line we’re fed since birth. Besides, look at how much rich music came from such!

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