I was reading through my copy of “A Day at a Time” when I stumbled onto a passage that interested me very much. “Today I will remember… love is not an investment, but a charitable contribution.” And that really stuck with me.
We try to make understanding people too easy. We try to objectively quantify a person, put them in a test tube and swirl them around. And then once we have done this we can say, with what we assume is confidence, that ‘I know you’. And that is not the way it works. Put your faith in a higher power and we realize that God knows you. God knows me. However it is not our part to understand everything that God has set before us. That is what faith is. Faith is believing in something even though you can never really be sure, except in your heart.
Love is the same way. Why do we give love? Ask most people and they will give you reasons. They will say “I love you because you are beautiful, because you make me laugh, because we enjoy each others company”. And yet can those be the only reasons? Of course not. So what are they? That same person might respond… “I don’t know”
We give love not because it is investment, not because we hope it will pay off in the end. Love is not a down payment that we hope one day to get back. We give love because we need to. We give love to someone that we love because the thought of doing anything else is impossible, it just will never happen. If you ask a mother why she loves her son. She will never say “because he is handsome.” She will tell you she loves her son because there is no other alternative. She can not go through life not loving her son. It’s something that is given without any consideration for anything in return.
And that is how we must think of love. We can not doubt ourselves and believe we are unworthy of love. And the more we ask that question “why do they love me?” the more we lose touch of that love that they gave to us. Accept love into your life and give it back charitably.
Like the song says:
in the end
the love you take
is equal to the love you make