500 days of disappointment
Day 452 (Somewhere close to the end of part 1)
I feel horrible. I feel cheated by life. I feel lost, alone, and as though my paradigms have been shattered. I come to the conclusion that the way we love is not love at all. Because if love has limits, if love is finite, if love has conditions, it may not be love. This is frustrating on many levels, because the world appears to sell love, and yet it is not love. The world is just selling crap, masquerading as love. Relationships are just selling a fleeting feeling. At least, that’s the way it is for fifty percent of the population. And who’s to say I’m a part of the other, some would say ‘lucky’, fifty percent?
I want the ideal, but I’ve bought into the idea that love is nothing more than a conditional feeling. And the supposed finiteness of love’s potential impacts me in a myriad of ways. . .Mostly, it just ends up making me feel rather insecure. Even though I’ve been in a relationship for over a year (and the best relationship I have ever been in, thus far), there’s this niggling voice at the back of my mind that tells me that love only ends up in disappointment. That no one could possibly promise to love someone forever.
Am I a cynic, or a realist? On day 452, I can’t tell.
Day 1 (the beginning)
Today is like any other day. I sit with girlfriends at a coffee shop and we talk wistfully about potential relationships. Some of these relationships hold more potential than others. We are excited, and it feels as though spring might be in the air. There’s a desire– a craving, if you will– for love. For the drama that comes with love. We watch a chick-flick, and there’s the typical storyline: girl likes guy; guy does not like girl; girl retreats; guy realizes he loves girl; guy chases after girl; girl and guy hold hands forevermore. We talk about how unrealistic this picture is, how life really isn’t like this. But underneath it all, I know that we hope for it. And the hope that this craving will be satisfying drives me to live another day.
Day 352 (somewhere midway through the story)
Any relationship, romantic or not, seems to come with conditions. In some ways, I still crave for the knight-in-shining-armour who rushes to save a princess he does not even know. Yet, despite my optimism, all relationships seem to lead to ultimatums. I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine. . .kinda deal. “I’ll love you forever, unless you hurt me, irritate me, (insert negative adjective here).”
Some of the gloss of the prospect of love is wearing off, leaving behind something tarnished that I can’t quite make sense of.
There’s this craving like the hole in a puzzle waiting for it’s last piece, but all the pieces I have tried thus far almost fit, but just aren’t quite there.
Day 500 (the end of the beginning)
I come to the conclusion that if I have this craving, there are two possibilities: this love–a love sans conditions– actually exists and can be found, or this love doesn’t exist and I’ve all deluded myself into thinking it does.
My thought is this: just like you know what an empty cup can hold, both in capacity and form, by simply looking at it’s shape, so it is with this craving in me for an infinite kind of love. The existence of hunger proves to me that food exists. The existence of a need for air proves to me that oxygen exists.
From my conclusion, I realize that I am wired to want and desire a kind of love that exists, but that I haven’t found. But if this is the way I am wired, then maybe, there is an outlet to experience this love and to output this love as well. I just need to find it.
If there is an outlet, there also has to be a source of power to provide this infinite love. But if all the love that we have experienced has been finite, then this love probably can’t come from other humans.
Maybe, then, I’ve been seeing love the wrong way. Because if love has limits, if love is finite, if love has conditions, it may not be love. But if love is unconditional, unmerited and undeserved, then maybe religion’s version of love– as in, a set of rules and decrees to be followed, in order to satiate the wrath of a particular deity– has it all wrong. Maybe I don’t need to toil and labour and travail in order to be loved. It seems to me that if there is an infinite God, He has wired me so that, in search of this infinite love, I turn to Him, connect with Him and experience relationship rather than religion.
At this moment, I decide that I’m tired of conditions placed on me in order that I might even have the hope of being loved. I decide that I don’t want to work my ass off to be considered worthy enough to obtain love from the fickle.
My old ways of trying to win love aren’t needed to pacify God because he has invited me into a relationship that is so much better; it is much better to know that I was created for a loving relationship. I know that on my own, no matter what I do, I will always disappoint others and God. My love is finite, because I am a finite being, incapable of working towards this love. This is the assurance I have: love has been made free because of a loving God who came to the earth in the form of Jesus who died on the cross. In effect, Jesus, God in skin and bones, reached down to find me, satiate the wrath of God, and give me the thing I have longed for most: a loving relationship with an infinite being.
Day 530 (part 2: infinity)
It’s been a journey since I came to the conclusion that an Infinite Love exists, and that He is freely accessible to anyone who wants him.
To know that you are loved infinitely, limitlessly, and unquestionably changes your life. Take it from someone who has experienced this change. I am by no means a glass-half-full person, and yet, on the topic of infinite love, this cynic has become an optimist.
I am more secure in my finite relationships because I know I am infinitely secure. My craving for love, in a sense, has been quenched because I know the ending. God-in-the-flesh sacrificed and chased after me and gave me his life so that I might enter into forever-after with him.
Has my life been perfect? No. It’s not always a fairy-tale. Some days are better than others. But it is satisfying to know that I am deeply loved by God, and as I delve deeper in this relationship, I find that because of this infinite love constantly being poured out on me, somehow, I am also able to love deeply.
The infinite potential of this love is not lost on me.