Love is what comes after Therefore

Posted: 2012/01/22 in Loving

We encounter another person.

Maybe it’s for the first time.

Maybe it’s the person we’ve known as long as we’ve known anybody—ourself or our mother, depending upon how such things really work in minds and hearts.

Then we tell ourselves a story.

Maybe it’s made up on the spot, based on face, body, attire, companions, circumstances, and serialized stories of which this is the newest chapter.

Maybe it’s a story we’ve told a thousand times, laced with emotion and nuance.

Sometimes the story is told and heard so quickly that we’re not even aware of it. Other times it’s the never-ending story that we wake ourselves up in the middle of the night to tell and hear again because either the teller or the hearer just can’t get enough.

Therefore…

Therefore we respond—however we respond—or not, because of that story.

Or…

Therefore we respond, despite that story—maybe informed by it, if it’s a true and useful story—but we respond despite that story, and walk the path of love with that person.

Maybe for a few seconds in the aisle at the store, or maybe all the way to the end, whatever that turns out to be.

It’s not about the stories. We all tell them. They’re how we cope with a world that we weren’t meant to cope with Alone.

What it’s about is what we choose after the Therefore.

Choose “path of love,” often enough and firmly enough, and you will find yourselves rewriting a lot of stories, both about others and about yourself.

Choose “because” often enough, and those stories will slowly harden into a form-fitting cement casket.

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