Sometimes love isn’t what we believe it to be; it isn’t an “I need you,” but rather an “I choose you.” It’s this very personal power that only has meaning between two people. Because of this, we need to remember that maintaining a life with love is an extremely difficult task that depends in great part on what we demand from it.
Idealized love is the love that we have learned to admire in Disney movies, soap operas and stories like Romeo and Juliet. It’s an “I would die for you” type of love. But the reality is that we mustn’t die for love, we must live for love; we must spend our lives loving each other. We must love our partner for who they are and be loved the same way in return; no excuses, no chains and, most importantly, slowly but steadily…
We’ve all learned to glorify that “Once upon a time” love without realizing that it isn’t balanced and doesn’t hold up in the real world. It’s living with this mistaken belief of love that causes us to feel frustrated.
The story that we are going to share today is a more accurate reflection of love. It isn’t a path lined with rose petals, it’s something we cry for and fight over. Yet, it’s also something that can disillusion us and cause us to feel dizzy or as if we were lost at sea. Love isn’t absolute happiness, but it also isn’t everything we consider it to be.
“I will mold you,” the axe told the piece of iron as it came down with all of its might against one of the sides. But with each blow, the axe began to lose its edge until, after a while, the tool could no longer chop. It had been left completely blunt.
“Leave it to me,” responded the saw as his teeth ground down upon the iron. Instead, each tooth disappeared one by one.
“I will take care of molding it,” the hammer stated with arrogance as he made fun of his friends who had failed. But after various hits, his handle broke and separated from his head.
“May I try?” the small flame asked humbly. The three burst into laughter, but allowed the flame to try because they were convinced that he, too, would fail. However, that little flame covered the piece of iron; he didn’t leave his side. The flame embraced the iron and burned it until it became soft and took the shape that it wanted. That tiny flame accomplished what the other three, powerful tools could not.
In this world, there are hearts that are so tough, they can resist the angry blows, the teeth of bitterness, the prideful hits and rejection. But the heart of a person isn’t able to resist the impact of love, because love is the most powerful force in this world.
Sometimes we find ourselves left with hearts of iron in a frozen battle. These hearts need nothing more than the tenderness of love to reach the peak. It is in these moments that our mistaken views of love can lead us astray and destroy us.
It’s been said that searching for your “other half” is impossible or, at the very least, difficult. But the fact of the matter is, the world isn’t made of “other halves.” If you set out on the path to find your other half, you will only be met with frustration and pain. This is because the world is made up of “wholes,” not “halves.” It is these “wholes” who continue along until they run into another whole who they can travel along with, side by side.
Love is an art that needs to be understood. Because it is an art, it cannot be measured over time, it isn’t a date on the calendar, nor is it the presence of two bodies.We must learn to take care of it and not destroy the part of us that keeps us going, even when our hearts go up in flames.