Why is love so disruptive?
I think it is because our culture has caused us to form lives that do not allow for the primacy and intensity of love to seem legitimate, a culture in which the demands on time that love creates are not valued.
Of course, we value love, even beyond the cliche of motherhood and the political chicanery of "family values". But we are led to set our lives up in such a way that encourages a dull, grey translucent love to be the only one that can form. We are taught to put ourselves first. We are taught not to compromise ourselves. We are taught that it should be magical, and when the magic has to be recreated, we have not been taught how to do that - or that it will be necessary.
We have been taught to value love as if we live in some weird fairy tale. We are supposed to be able to get from "once upon a time" to "happily ever after" without our efforts leaving scars on our souls that had to heal. What follows this is supposed to be simple and rewarding, when in fact, it is the most complex and trying factor to maintain in a relationship in this world.
Our work, our friends and our families all put their demands at the top of our list. Our new lover, accepting us, is pushed repetitively down the chain of priorities, and becomes a fixture rather than a focus. Our self becomes fragmented instead of fulfilled if our relationships compete with rather than complement one another. This struggle has to be resolved in two ways...
While family and friends will learn how important our love is, if they allow it to last, the world of work and the industry of political economics and consumer capitalism will never relent in its pressure on us to evaluate our love on its terms. We can never measure up, since a foundation of the system used to sell useless products has become to create an aching sense of dissatisfaction, one that requires the purchase of junk rather than living a whole life to satisfy (and even then, only temporarily). We must immunize ourselves against this inhumane pressure, this constant attempt to reshape our minds for the benefit of large corporations, in order to carve out room for a real life. Turn off your television! Spare me your arguments for the slightly redeemable programs. Remember that to be with people, to read at your own pace, to create your personal art, your own life, is what matters if you are ever to feel alive.
Those close to us and in our lives will feel a sense of loss when a new love comes into our life. The time they used to share with us is reduced, they may be jealous of the pleasure and excitement we derive from the new heights we are trying to scale, and even be resentful when we try to express our joy to them. They may feel we are obligated to them, for their past services to us. As a friend put it to me recently, the cliche goes "those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind". Remember that a true friend (and family must be friends if they are to maintain any real adult connection to our lives) wants you to be happy, and understands the energy that must be invested to form a "deep and lasting bond" with another person. They know you will still love them and there will be many joyous times to come.
The person who insists on their primacy even while you are trying to learn what a new person will mean to you, perhaps for the rest of your life, is not contributing to your life, they are afraid of change, they do not have confidence in your love for them - or perhaps in their love for themselves. They need to be educated as to this so they can remain in your life and grow with you. The people who stand in your way are still people, and with people, there is always hope.
Love is not impossible. But it faces some hurdles due to forces that do not love - government, corporations, jobs, organised religion, and just about any dogmatic view of life and its meaning.
Take joy in the energy required to overcome these hurdles, for it will make you stronger and richer in the process.
Love is worth the effort.
© Huw Powell