Updated: Mar 8
This morning, I woke up, remembering a discussion I had last night about God, the universe and love. I’ve been at my friend’s birthday party. Yes, we girls get together, share a couple of bottles of wine and that’s the stuff we discuss. And what the best peelings are for your feet. All in one sentence, or two perhaps.
But that’s the cool stuff. You get to talk about absolutely everything you can think of and it’s interesting, it’s hilarious, it’s deep, it’s giggly and it’s great fun. So in all the discussion, love was a recurring theme. One of the girls played a German song in which a line said, “I wish for you love without pain.”
At first, you might think, it’s a nice wish to have for another. But then you ask yourself, what is love? And why does it hurt so often that over the ages and through the centuries bards and popstars alike have sung about it.
The answer is that love cannot be painful. Pain is not love. Pain is the absence of love. Love is not possession, lust or anything else. If you research the root of the word love, the dictionary will tell you, it stems from Latin and means liberty and freedom.
And that is why there is no pain in love. Love means to be free to be who you really are. You can be yourself, you do not have to act a certain way, say or do certain things or refrain from saying and doing them to receive affection from another, and, of you fail to meet expectations, be rejected. That is not love, that’s a business deal.
When two people love each other, it means they nurture the greatness in each other and themselves, their true expression of who they are, whatever form it may take. And they will support your growth, your reaching for your dreams, and your own. It doesn’t mean you have a sexually open relationship, you don’t have to take responsibility or be accountable. It means, you take responsibility for your own thoughts, your own actions and the arising consequences thereof. And when you are free, truly free, you are authentic.
For example, in my book Badass Heroes by Tirza Schaefer the male protagonist, Luis, doesn’t care whether it’s politically correct to protect women, to want to shield them from harm or order for his female colleague Ricarda at a restaurant. He does it because he believes that is the right thing to do. Ricarda, thinks, he is a macho and chauvinist. At first. Until she looks more closely and sees beyond appearances. She sees what drives him and she feels his motivation. And that changes her perception of him. She understands that rather than being restricted by what Luis does or says, she is being given a safe space to express herself freely. And from there, love grows.
But love is not a feeling. Love is an energy. And ask any physicist, he or she will tell you that we are all made of energy and that energy cannot be destroyed. It can only change form. And this is what William Shakespeare, one of my all-time greatest heroes in literature, speaks about in his famous Sonnet 116:
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom:
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
And therefore, only the absence of love is pain. Pain cannot be part of love. It is that simple. Love is the energy we are made of. And when you read one of Tirza’s books, you will find that in all the narrative, the common factor is the fundamental core message that love is not a temporary feeling, it is what we are made of. It is a state of being and the characters in my stories or the words and poetry in my spiritual books bring this to light. Layer upon layer is peeled away to show what love truly is and how it is expressed.