One of the central themes of my most recent literary work, The Compass, is Love and the way it wounds us. I’ve learned so much about love, but never the answer to it. I’ve learned that there are so many different kinds.
There’s passionate love, agape love, and the kind of love you have for your dog.
At times I am reminded of the Romeo and Juliet kind of love. That feels like the kind of love you’d die for. Open, exposed, like a forest fire threatening to extinguish the life of everything in the forest. The good, the bad, the large mammals and small. The wildlife, flowers and bonfires. All of it gone. Most of us feel as if we are experiencing this type of love at some point in our lives. Usually when we are teenagers grasping at the meaning of emotion.
Then, I am reminded of a different kind of love, the kind that you’d die with, not for.
This is the type of love with depth, but a love so deep you don’t feel the need to shout it from the rooftops. It’s a bury the body kind of love. A 3am friend kind of love. An unspoken , indescribable, cannot stop thinking of you kind of love. It’s the kind of love you’d be prepared to die with, take to the grave.
Last in my pondering, I think of the kind of love that one dies from.
There are three options it seems.
For, with and from.
The kind of love you die from is heart wrenching, cracking open your soul as if a large mythic hand has reached in to hold your heart, bleeding. Your heart still beats, but it’s within the grasp of another. This type of love keeps you awake at night. The kind of love you die from, simply because it’s very existence is dangerous, harmful, and leaves you aching.
In all of it, there is love. All of the above feel so human and frail. The three types, with, from, and for. Which one is for real?
I don’t know the answer, but all involve dying in some way. Perhaps, the one truth is God’s love. Death on a cross, sacrifice. What if we could be so selfless as to die to ourselves, our flesh, our desires, and love someone unconditionally? This type of love is rare. Loving without expecting a return on our investment. Loving despite the ways that love wounds us. Loving despite the hurts, infidelities, and arrows to the heart.
That would be true love.