January 14, 2009
If You Love Someone...
Love is such a difficult subject to discuss, as love is not just irrational and illogical at times, but also very relative. A subject with so many variations and meanings, so very individual, it is difficult to describe adequately. There are many kinds of love; one we feel towards our parents and our children, or the way we feel about good friends and siblings. And of course then there is the romantic love. Yet, love is universal and connects us all, it inspires great artist, writers and talented musicians.
I am sure everyone is familiar with this famous love quote:
"If you love someone, set them free.
If they come back, they're yours;
if they don't, they never were."
I have tried to find the primary source of these words, however it seems to be unknown. There are a few variations of this quote and two authors have been accredited to be the originators of this citation; Richard Bach and Khalil Gibran.
I was very young when I heard this being mentioned for the first time and remember immediately finding a true significance in this sentence. I longed to be free in my youthful nature, when it came to love. I wanted to feel pursued at all times, or the love was not real; hence the object of my affection, that did not quest for me over all in the world was to weak and the love was not meant to be mine.
Most possibly at that time, I have yet not truly loved. Getting older however, this quote has become more difficult for me to understand and to appreciate, as it seems to idealistic and to unreal to be adapted to real life. When we love, even though love can be a consuming emotion at times, all we want is to have the ones we love near us. This applies to any kind of love. We want to cherish and be cherished. The affection of the one makes us better, our lives become richer and their presence makes us stronger. Loving someone means the least of all telling him or her to go away.
Of course, I am fully aware of the fact, that the quote basically warns of destructive and possessive love. One that ignites jalousie, one that confines us, that is uncontrollable, overpowering and impeding. Most of all, the unreciprocated love. However, to me that is not love at all; perhaps an obsession at the best. True Love is unconditional, it is a Love that is returned with the same token it is given and that sets us free on its own.
In my adult life I have found other love quotes, that I feel more appropriately describes my sentiments about love today.
These are the two favourite ones:
“It is impossible to fall out of love. Love is such a powerful emotion, that once it envelops you it does not depart. True love is eternal. If you think that you were once in love, but fell out of it, then it wasn't love you were in. There are no 'exit' signs in love, there is only an 'on' ramp.”
"If you love someone, the greatest gift you can give them is your presence."
Thich Nhat Hanh
Finally, if I may be so bold, I would like to add my own variation of the famous love quote, which I believe is more factual, at least in my own life:
"If you love someone,
make sure your love sets them free
and if they truly love you,
they will stay with you forever."