There is a common misconception, and I discuss this in my novel, that “love is an action.” Now, for this concept to be true it would mean that at some point “love” will cease, because every “action” comes to an end eventually. Let’s look at it like this, I still love my grandmother. Yet she is dead. She performs no actions for me, no more kisses, no more buttery toast from the skillet, no more cookies baking on Christmas Eve. All that ended the day she died. But did the “love” itself die? No. Love can never die. It is not an action.
There have been quite a few self-help gurus (most of them appearing many times on Oprah) spouting this “love is an action” crap. The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word “action” as “the state or process of doing.” According to those “love is an action” folks, I no longer love my granny, as it would be quite impossible, since love is clearly defined in their logic as an “action.” The dictionary, however, defines the word “love” as “an intense affectionate concern for another person.” That I do have, for my departed grandmother and all the people who are close to me. Perhaps, it is better to say that love inspires one to perform certain actions, but the action itself is not the love. Because let’s face it, the “act” of skewed love has caused quite a few people to perform heinous “actions.” Is that love? No.
My novel, “Rosabelle, believe,” (in stores now, buy it or suffer dire “actions”) is a tale of “love so great it transcended death.” While I think all love transcends death, my ultimate point here concerns romantic relationships (I do write love stories, after all). I don’t think love ever goes away, even if a relationship ends (for whatever reason). Sometimes relationships must end, but that does not take away from the validity of that love once shared. I’m not sure what motivates people to hold onto bad relationships when it is obviously time to let go. We couple up for a variety of reasons, and those reasons may come to an end, but that is okay too. When we hold onto notions like “love is an action” we start to believe we can “repair” the relationship by performing a variety of “actions.” Doing that is like putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound. The bleeding and pain will not stop.
Richard Bach wrote a very famous book called “The Bridge Across Forever” about his romance with actress Leslie Parrish. They became the poster couple for the great soulmate love story. It was a very mystical tale about destiny and magical dreams and signs and all manner of fabulous things. After twenty-two years of marriage, they divorced. There were many people who took this to mean that all the sweepy soulmate things they spoke about in “Bridge” were lies or impossible. The cynics, of course, had a field day. All those people missed the point. Every person in our life is there for a reason, but that does not mean they are meant to be “til death do us part.” As souls we love forever. I do believe we have the one “great love,” who we share lifetime after lifetime with, but that does not always mean we experience everything with this person. What if you met the love of your life and he/she died? Was that not a valid relationship? Was it not real love? Was that not your soulmate?
It should not be any different when a relationship ends for other reasons either. As humans, we choose to exist and experience a multitude of things. I think this is why “love is an action” is so detrimental to human romantic relationships. People end up staying in an unhappy relationship, figuring they’ll perform more “actions” to make the relationship last. All they are doing is extending the suffering. I know some people stay together for “the sake of the children,” but it has been my experience that children often follow in their parents’ footsteps. Doing that, essentially, is teaching your children to stay in an unhappy relationship. Is that what you want for your kids? To be miserable? When I think of love being “meant to be,” I also think it can be “meant to be” to end. It’s not pessimistic. My goal is to put love on a higher level, not demean it by calling it an “action.” Vomiting is an action. Should love be at that level?
I’d like to put an end to this “love is an action” BS. In a perfect world, two people could say openly, “My time with you is over. I’m being called elsewhere, but our time together was genuine.” The problem is that feelings turn to resentment and anger (especially when one person is not ready for the relationship to end). I’m certainly not advocating breaking another person’s heart, because you want to sow some wild oats. I’m thinking in the line of a “perfect world” concept. I’m not so arrogant to think I am that high-and-mighty! I certainly don’t consider myself as enlightened as I sound in this blog. I’m quite jealous and get angry easily over matters of the heart, but I’m very much into romance and finding the great love (geez, just read my books!). Love really does make the world go ’round, and I write the types of books that I do in hopes of encouraging people to find their great love! Really find it! Not some half-assed approximation of love defined by a bunch of self-help gurus who make a whole lotta money spouting baloney on talk shows. Find the love that speaks to your soul, and you’ll know that love is not an action. Being connected to a person’s soul is like hearing a song and digging its vibe. It hits you somewhere inside. It’s not the lyrics. It’s not even the beat. It’s just something you can’t explain. And, even when the song’s not playing, you can still feel its rhythm inside you. So, see there, I am a fairly romantic sappy type, and I do think people can couple up for a lifetime, but when we define love as a qualitative thing like an “action” then we limit its true reach.
Of course, what do I know? I’m blogging on a Friday night, wondering if there are anymore Nutter Butters left in the kitchen.
Peace, love, and groovy vibes,