Those who cannot conceive Friendship as a substantive love but only as a disguise or elaboration of Eros betray the fact that they have never had a Friend. The rest of us know that though we can have erotic love and friendship for the same person yet in some ways nothing is less like a Friendship than a love-affair. Lovers are always talking to one another about their love; Friends hardly ever about their Friendship. Lovers are normally face to face, absorbed in each other; Friends, side by side, absorbed in some common interest. Above all, Eros (while it lasts) is necessarily between two only. But two, far from being the necessary number for Friendship, is not even the best. And the reason for this is important.
In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets… Hence true Friendship is the least jealous of loves. Two friends delight to be joined by a third, and three by a fourth, if only the newcomer is qualified to become a real friend. They can then say, as the blessed souls say in Dante, ‘Here comes one who will augment our loves.’ For in this love ‘to divide is not to take away.” (Italics mine)
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
The real truth is that I Died that morning too. The version of me our love brought out is one that Never existed before her. I have no doubt that I will survive this as concretely as I know all too well that the Johnny that she loved died with her in the ocean that day too.
What I do not know is Who Will I Be Now?
So many times and I am sure you have heard this refrain from others too is this notion: “she would want this or that or you to do or be this or that”. My heart revolts at these quips every single time. Even when they may be true or hold truth. Its a complex thing to disassemble and I won’t attempt it here, but at the root of it is doubt I guess and also fear and insecurity. So I have taken to thinking something quite novel to get thru to what I Know would be true and not just what I might hope to be true with regards to what she might or might not say or want for me. If that makes any sense at all.
What If it were me that died? What If I could come back. What would I say to Her? All the things I would tell her……..
“The greatest joy in my life was hearing you call me Husband.
I am so thankful for your love and care and cheer leading for me.
I want you to again have the affections of and give affection to another man.
I want you to be as fearless in the life ahead as we had been in the life we were making together.
My life was made impossibly rich just because of you.
Do not not spend another minute crying.”
We found a secret in ourselves. One that surprised us both. That the act of our loving each other fearlessly, we released ourselves from fears that had forever made us Less than we could have been. Love is the beginning of all things. Love is the end of all things. Anything less than love is fear. Fear is the root of all other vices and sins.
Another author gives us his thoughts on Love: 1John 4:16-18 NIV:
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
For my friends and for readers of other faiths or even my friends that are agnostics or atheists, or the great majority of those that stumble around trying to figure out this thing we call life. I am, on the inside, all of these things too at some point along my journey.
But Love has changed me. Love is changing me still and urging me forward. The Actions of Love bring the benefits of Love to all of us at all times. No matter what we believe. To love is to join into the song which all of our hearts know. To sing it is to free yourself from fear, to live without fear allows you to sing louder and call other voices near you to sing too.
Love better. Live well. Remember Lindsey