“Hollywood film directors and producers are the prophets of our generation sending a false message of love.” ~ Olivia Apple
The winter blahs had set in with a vengeance. Neal knew he had to get his girls out of the house and into the car or suffer the consequences. So he took Olivia and me to breakfast, then he treated us to a little shopping.
Good man. Smart man.
While slipping along snow packed streets our conversation turned to movies and television shows and how they affect society’s thinking. The above quote by my daughter really says it all. Over the years our minds have been slowly moved left-of-center on the true meaning of love. Now more than ever.
I was reading Steven James’ book, Sailing Between the Stars, and he makes the observation that the opposite of music isn’t silence—it is noise. A sour note that ruins the harmony and distorts the melody.
That is what has happened to love. The opposite of love isn’t hate. It is the essence of emotion that turns true love into a selfish what’s in it for me relationship.
You know the story. Girl meets boy, girl loves boy, girl jumps in bed with boy on the first date, girl hates boy, from there they either marry or go on to another victim. All of this happens within a week. Of course, this varies. Sometimes it is boy meets girl. . . and on and on and on.
But love isn’t like that.
Love isn’t about how others make us feel. It isn’t what others can do for us. It isn’t what we deserve. It is what we give. Especially when it is inconvenient, unappreciated, even scorned.
What does love look like?
It is sleep-deprived parents covered in spit-up changing dirty diapers. It is longing for the child who yelled, “I hate you!” before running from the room. It is staying with our spouse when poverty or sickness strikes.
In a word love is “sacrifice.” It isn’t about us. It is about others. The essence of love focuses on self. True love focuses on others. Love honors, cherishes, gives the benefit of the doubt, is patient when wronged. Love forgives. It seeks and appreciates the beauty of a soul instead of being attracted to the body shell—which will one day be old and wrinkly.
When you think you are in love, ask yourself this, “If this person no longer does a thing for me, if he or she grows old and ugly, if I have to give up my fun, my money, and my time for them, would I stay?” If your answer is no, then wait before declaring love.
True love is a living thing that increases in capacity with time. The essence of love evaporates with the changing wind.
Don’t let the modern day prophets of Hollywood define love for you. Rather, remember love that sacrificed his life, was willing to be spit on, lied about, made a spectacle, and still forgave.
The opposite of love, the essence, is always focused on ourselves.Love, real love, is always focused on the other person.