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."


Diane said...

I personally like, "If you love someone set them free. If they come back, they are yours. If they don't, hunt them down like the dog they are." Hee hee.

Beautiful post, my friend. The Irishman is one lucky dude ;)

Betsy Brock said...

Such great thoughts here...and I like your version at the end!...and that 'true love is unconditional' which seems to be cropping up in a lot of conversations recently!

Hilary said...

Somebody's in a romantic mood. :) I remember that saying from my teen years. I used to have a poster on my wall with it, in fact. Our views of love change over the years, with maturity and experience(s). Maybe I'll figure it out one day. ;)

Julie Hibbard said...

Wow...this has left tears in my eyes. I, for one, was only in love once. And, after 4 years, my heart still belongs to him, tho HE does not belong to me. I set him free...
It still stings.
I do, indeed, have the love of my (grown) children, which is absolutely brilliant and fulfilling and quite lovely.
But there is a spot in my heart for my true love--perhaps not the man of four years ago--maybe it will be even better than THAT.
I hope. I do.
I know that I have so much love to GIVE. I LONG to have someone to love and to love me. It is a dream that I hope will come true someday. And, I do hope that my love will set them free. I really like that thought.
Thank you for opening my heart today.

Melanie Gillispie said...

I'm glad I found you through Diane. You have such a romantic and optimistic view of things and I am pretty unromantic and, well, I'm not pessimistic, but more..hmm..pragmatic, I guess. Reading your posts exposes me to a different way of looking at things. You're very influential, Z!

Edited to add that I got a real word as my verification today: sequin!

Donna said...

I love your quote the best! Gave me chills.


Zuzana said...

LOL Diane, I know that one too, I stumbled upon it a few times; a very good variation of that famous quote, may I add. And thank you, I think it is the other way around actually; I am the lucky one.;)

Betsy, thank you for your nice words; yes, sometimes I get a bit contemplative; and I agree;, unconditional is the word.;)

Hilary, you know me; the hopeless romantic, right? Yes, I thought you would know this one as you know a bit about Khalil Gibran. And I agree, our sentiments change over the years. As with the figuring it out business; maybe you already have.;))

Ah Julie, thank you, that was wonderful to hear, that you found something in this that touched you. I am sorry about the way you had to let someone go, to me it just means he was not the right one The right one is out there and with your wonderful spirit and positivism you will meet him. And I am sure he will be a lucky man, as you do have a lot to give.;))

Dear Mel, that was so nicely put; I am very romantic and I like to see the good things in life and love. Even though you say you are pragmatic, judging from your blog I think you are much more romantically inclined than you think.;)
Nevertheless, I am glad you found a kind of positive inspiration in my humble thinking.;)))
Yes, this with the word verification is odd at times, I often get real words and often they are not so nice words as well;))

Donna, thank you, I hope the chills were of the good kind.;) Always glad when you stop by.;))

Hazel Designs said...


Zuzana said...

Hazel; thanks my friend.;))

G said...

Wonderful post... as always. But this one in particular got to me, also being a big romantic and ruled very much by my heart.

Zuzana said...

Dear BPG; thank you for those wonderful words. I am happy to find a kindred spirit; I am a "hopeless romantic", as I have been labeled by many here.;)
However, being ruled by your heart is in my opinion the only way to be.;))

Anonymous said...

Beautiful blog and inspirations.
I look forward to visit again.

Zuzana said...

jgy, thank you for those wonderful words; nice of you to stop by and please come and visit again:;)

NTB said...

"only an on ramp..."

Thanks Protege... this is all very helpful :-)

Zuzana said...

NTB, I am happy you could find something in this post that helped.
Glad you stopped by.;))