I love you.
We fall in love, declare love, make love, and do crazy little things for love. We search for love in all the wrong places and find the most incredible fulfillment in even the slightest glimpse of love in our lives. The trouble with love is that, like the truth, love creates its own parallel universes of contradictory meanings and motives. Lovers create worlds of intoxicating beauty and lasting contentment, but lovers do things that threaten to destroy love altogether. Why is it so much easier to reveal our secrets and anxieties to strangers, rather than just tell the one we love? By the time we can let it out, it’s all too much.
An old pop standard put it like this,
You always hurt the one you love
The one you shouldn’t hurt at all
You always take the sweetest rose
And crush it till the petals fall
You always break the kindest heart
With a hasty word you can’t recall
So If I broke your heart last night
It’s because I love you most of all
Love is the moral equivalent of the superposition of quantum particles – this is the phenomenon in which a small particle, like an electron, seems to be doing two contradictory things at once. Like an electron, love spins right-side up and upside down all at the same time, and any attempt to know what is going on collapses its ability to be two things at once. And if it’s not both things at once, it’s not quite the love we desire. Love is always and everywhere on the precipice of its own demise, the strongest trust suddenly shattered by the right amount of pressure in the right place, the right place being that fault line we’re never really aware of.
The trick with love is to know when to leave well enough alone. None of this means that love is doomed, or that love isn’t beautiful all on its own. It is beautiful. Love moves us, but like Heisenberg, we find that knowing one thing about love essentially blinds us to some other quality that will catch up with us later.
Like love, the truth requires us to remember that beyond the words we say, something else is always implied, even if we can never know what it is until we’ve lost something else. To bring truth into relationships requires us to remember that contradictions are no mere accidents. Contradictions – in principles, thoughts, words, or actions – are the substance of the truth and par for the course in the truth of love.
Truth dares us to learn how to heal. Love dares us to be vulnerable, to be open, and to live without knowing everything about the one we love. Love is a dangerous beauty, as another well-known song records it,
Some say love, it is a river
that drowns the tender reed
Some say love, it is a razor
that leaves your soul to bleed
Some say love, it is a hunger
an endless aching need
I say love, it is a flower
and you its only seed
At the end of the day, love and truth challenge us to be open to the greatest rewards, in spite of any risk.
Credits: Allan Roberts and Doris Fisher, “You Always Hurt the One You Love,” sung by many, among other Clarence Frogman Henry and Ringo Starr
Amanda McBroom, “The Rose,” made most famous by Bette Midler
http://www.flowerpictures.net , rose photo.