What is love? Baby it hurts me.
Updated: Dec 10, 2020
Imagine love that doesn't hurt.
I'm not talking about the hurt that comes at a breakup. I'm talking about the little hurts everyday that effect your heart. The misunderstandings, the lack of space for natural expression (good or bad), the inconsiderate people, the harsh media posts, the outpouring that comes with nothing in return, and just simple frustrations. Human's are not angry by nature -- we are deeply angered by the hurt and unlove we've felt in the weight of doing, doing, doing, work, work, work.
We can all identify with the intense emotions behind, "I give you my love but you don't care!?" Many many sorrows within our days don't feel as sensational as the techno beats that come after such a prophetic song by Haddaway, but maybe if we fill our head with that reminder it will lighten the mood when we need it!
We DAILY experience some of the harshest, most disheartening realities. I am sure about 5 have popped into your mind reading this. Not only that, but we've repressed them and go on like normal until they erupt like a volcano.
Being belittled in speech.
Being told you are too much.
Being roped into gossip and hurt about others to hide yourself.
Being somehow drawn into the illusion that you need to change yourself to fit in with lunch table fodder.
Being drowned out by the comparison to others on media or in person.
So many conditions involved for the sake of receiving... "love" and we wonder why we're so anxious and sad all the time...
The task you take on outpouring all of your mental and emotional energy into another person(s) and then getting nothing but harshness and slander in return.
The hope of wanting to see a loved one but the circumstances of their day triggers their mood (Cause of the unlove they took on in their world).
The weight of pressures and performance driven love.
Imagine being made to pulsate to the beat of unconditional love and you encounter 2 moments a month on that basis.
This weeks Gospel, prepping us for Christmas, is centered on repentance. Not just admitting we have faults, but resolving to change them. Even when I read that myself I was like, "Oof. We, as a generation, don't like that word very much."
It hurts the same way seeing ad's for gym memberships do. It hurts because it's something you want to do for you, and for the sake of others, yet you seem to be the only one showing up.
Like I said, I've discovered no one likes the word sin. OK, I get it, not coffee shop convo in line with your barista... "hey what sins did you commit today?" But, more so, no one likes to admit what sin is. It's justified and pushed aside as "not THAT bad." The core of this is that no one likes other people pointing out their flaws, no one likes having flaws, no one likes admitting flaws within themselves, only showing another person their flaws. The discomfort and tension this comes with is so hurtful that to erase the general truth that sin is a reality of life is the solution.
To erase the objective reality of sin, or being sinful, is easier than admitting we have/are.
Yet the direct and profound awareness is this: having a deep awareness of sin means having a deep understanding of love.
Sin is an offense against Love.
If God is Love and sin is an offense against God, than sin is an offense against pure, true, Love. But many of us dare not equate God to our definition of Love.
To admit fault, hurts, pride, sins is not naming our "character defects" or preaching "behavior modification" rather, a total awareness that our ability to love isn't meeting the mark. When this mark isn't met we are deeply frustrated, disturbed, hurt. To realize, "I haven't met the mark and man, I desire to!" Is the reason God instituted a general law of Love. True Love.
What scary thought to think we have shut off the desire to meet the mark. Truthfully, how are we to know love unless we know, and put truth of experience and words to, situations that are unloving? You can't name love without knowing unlove.
Sin comes at a cost. Yes, the cost of our being weak enough to know our own inability to love and heal our soul, but the cost of settling for half-assed friendships and relationships. The cost of never tasting mercy, receiving divine forgiveness, or seeing with eyes of love the favor God has for you. The cost of stagnant growth. The cost of labeling ourselves firstly as our sin (and asking others to tolerate that) then as 'a beloved.' The cost of living in an inner world that is bitter and cold. The cost of never risking the giant leap into the ocean of God's might. The cost of Love that gives in totality.
Imagine being made FOR love in totality and getting pieces of it here and there. #Hurts.
Sin is nothing more than a limited understanding of love. For if we knew what we were reaching for had a greater counterpart, we wouldn't reach for the lesser. Sin is like filling up on greasy fast food on the way home from work when you are so hungry and can't wait to drive 20 minutes to find your family member is waiting for you to share a 5 course meal, prepped to perfection from their long hours of work and prep.
When we sin, we numb the ability to love not only within ourselves, but outwardly. For the act of receiving love is sometimes a more hurtful reality than the one in which we have to admit, "bless me father for I have..."
And yet most of us tolerate, every day, hour, minute... the unlove of others. We receive more unlove than we do love. We can build walls and try to block the unlove but now we face the twofold distress of unlove AND exhaustion/keep-up. It's work to hold walls up! No wonder no one believes in commitment, no wonder no one takes risks, no wonder no one takes it upon themselves to believe anything other than "love is a feeling." Because feelings are safe. They don't hurt.
Real love is never "safe."
What's the motive in the mind of the little girl standing on a hill, seeing her dad beneath her? Her own bravery? No.... Dad's love.
What's the motive of a man ready to propose to his woman, seeing her in all her beauty? The "love" of being married and "ready?" No.... Her love.
What's a woman's motive when she toils in the kitchen and cleans the entire house and spends hours homemaking? Her "love" for cleaning? Maybe! but, more so, her family's love.
What's the choice behind a clergy who puts aside what He wants for the request of God? The fidelity of God's love, not his.
What's Jesus' motive for brutally undertaking the unlove of the people who put Him to His own death? The complete, total, faithful, free choice to believe in The Father's love, not His own abilities.
In the purest way love will hurt. You will hurt in ways no one will know or see. You will hurt at the expense of your own efforts being shot down. It will always hurt because the honor and immense challenge of being a human being is love. God's design for the human race, in HIS image and likeness (love) is the most powerful thing He could have done. I think He knew it would hurt. I think He knew the cost was worth this risk. I think love, in it's truest sense, in HIS truest nature, is a step into the depths of every single day.