all you need is love

I reread an old letter this morning after digging up an old poem the other day.

love.

love is a many splendored thing | love lift us up where we belong | all you need is love | in the name of love, want more in the name of love | some people wanna fill the world with silly love songs | and I will always love you   (thanks Moulin Rouge for the help).

Oh what we’ve done with love –  making it oh-what-a-feeling  – an experience  – a silly love song.

I have readily admitted on this here blog, that I fall in love all the time – I fall in love with books, with characters, with songs, with movies, with tv shows, with places, with things and with people.   Falling in love isn’t hard.

Staying in love … that’s the challenge.    When the connection fades, when the rush lessens, when the new-ness becomes steady, that’s when love becomes a choice.

That old letter I read this morning spoke of not only loving much but loving well.  Loving appropriately, sincerely and intelligently – not just sentimental gush.  I am can be ridiculously sentimental as demonstrated by the boxes in the closet of the spare room.

I love much, no doubt there

But I want to love well.

And not just that which I have fallen in love with but that which is unattractive and challenging.

Some people have had a knee-jerk-reaction when I mull that ultimately love is a choice.  They counter with yet another silly love song: sometimes love just ain’t enough.   Sure to love well could be to walk away despite the brokenness that ensues but mostly I think it’s a crutch.  Just like we are afraid in the west of arranged marriages, we are afraid of love being a choice – afraid of missing the chemistry, the magic and ironically, the freedom to choose the love we want.

We’re a mess.  We push against our deepest desires and we choose the easy way out.   On many days, we let fear win.

Even still, I’m positive I will continue to fall in love on a daily basis.
I’m also positive I will continue to love much – it seems to be written into my DNA.
But I will push on to choose to stay in love.
I will push on to love well despite how messy it is.
I will let crazy-love win and release me from what I so deeply fear.

Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
Attributed to Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ (1907–1991), from Finding God in All Things: A Marquette Prayer Book © 2009 Marquette University Press.