I have some bad news about love and here it is. The people you love and those who love you are going to disappoint you. They will do things and act in ways that defy your definition of love. It will seem inconceivable that they can claim to love you and at the same time behave in this way. This disappointment is however, an essential part of your growth as a loving being and the first step toward a certain freedom that is only available to those courageous enough to walk this path.
Everything out there from greeting cards to Facebook memes fills us with the notion that those who truly love us are duty bound show their unconditional understanding, appreciation and acceptance for us at all times. But have you ever stop to consider why they would want to do that? What could possibly be in it for someone else to completely abandon their own value system of loving expression so they could tediously learn to perfectly meet ours? Many also cling to the notion that there is someone out there already tailor-made to match their precepts of love and all they need to do is wait patiently till that person arrives into their life. These beliefs, while inspiring and fanciful, are actually defense mechanisms created to avoid the openness and intimacy that eventually leads to getting hurt.
In our maturity we come to understand that love was never designed to be easy. It is only by casting off our childhood fantasies of what we think love should be that we begin to recognize that it is not a secret garden of bliss but instead love is a learning process. It is in love where we discover how to bring close to our hearts people as they are rather than as we wish they would be.
Love’s true purpose is to create a trial where we learn to accept our own human deficiencies. It is in the struggle of loving others that we learn to fully and completely love ourselves. Here in love, we are given the opportunity to see ourselves as we truly are; the magnificent beings of light by which we came into this world. Loving others is therefore, self-love. It is the courageous act of looking into the mirror of our shame and dark self-hatred, the willingness to let it all go and the faith to fall backward into the arms of those we choose to accept into our hearts.
It is in this way, and only this way, that we are able to elevate ourselves as spiritual loving beings in the universe.
That is the bad news about love.