Thursday, February 11, 2016

Love is a fine balance

     If you miss at love, you miss living life. That’s a popular piece of self-help advice that’s been floating around since before many of you were born.  
     Love is mysterious and confusing. Sometimes, it is contradictory, too.
     Throughout the centuries, love is the one emotion everyone yearns to grab no matter what the cost. Nina, a Spanish musical actor and singer, describes its baffling ways in this verse:

Love moves in mysterious ways
It's always so surprising
When love appears over the horizon
I'll love you for the rest of my days.

     Notice the promise in the last line. That’s the one lovebirds get hung up on –the forever commitment.
     Love comes in all forms, turns your life upside down and inside out when you least expect it.
     “Love is like riding or speaking French. If you don’t learn it young, it’s hard to get the trick of it later.”  – High “Shrimpy” MacClare, one of the Downton Abbey lesser players.
     Falling in love just happens, and often, others caution you, “Take your time.”
      Elvis sings:

Wise men say, only fools rush in
But, I can’t help falling in love with you.

     The Roman poet, Virgil states it eloquently: “Love conquers all.” He’s the one you should give the credit to for the originality of thought. I’d say that it is very noble of him.
    So, it seems the patricians were debating Virgil’s words in the forum hundreds of years ago, and still, our modern viewpoint hasn’t tweaked love perfectly.
     Society has become cynical, and happily ever after is a myth. Starter marriages are way too frequent. That’s a disturbing commentary on life in 2016.
     In this month of sentiments over hearts and flowers, our national statistics on marriage are lousy. Half of marriages end in divorce. More and more couples are opting for living together arrangements, and those either work, or not. Singledom is popular, and it has its own ways of expression. It’s not for me to make judgments.
     All in all, love gets you further a head on the path.
     Having said that about love, it doesn’t necessarily mean that “all you need is love, love love” to overcome every obstacle. Don’t you wish.
   Thanks, Beatles, for that song. It rings in my head as a timeless reminder of my youthful exploits and idealistic quests. The Beatles spoke to a generation questioning the traditional values of their parents and society.
    “What I Did for Love” from The Chorus Line is one of my favorite pieces of music and its lyrics answer what so many lovers ponder.

I can't believe what I did for love
I can't believe what I did for us
Oh, passionately burning to flames
Stitch myself up, then I do it again
I can't believe (I can't believe) what I did for love
What I did for love

     Consider the connection between love and conquering all that life throws at you from the glorious to the messy.
     What do you suppose keeps some relationships glued, and others become unglued?
     Simply, certain people are able to love AND conquer all.
     A strong attraction is not a guarantee of a happy and healthy relationship in the end, though.
     “The Dating Game” on television was and still is by all accounts the premiere game show for singles.  It was the forerunner for many imitators, such as "Love Connection," MTV's "Singled Out" and “The Bachelor”, a reality show.
      And speaking of reality shows, there are way too many of them on television, and younger generations are growing up not discerning the difference between real time and imaginary adventures. Developing and maintaining satisfactory relationships are supposed to be practiced with “live” people.
     Sharing and pursuing mutual life goals together combines love and the ability to conquer all – usually. At least, those are the folks that can make it over the hurdles with a little faith and determination.
      Many couples believe that if there's enough love between them, all problems will be conquered. Such wishful thinking often leads to heartbreak. Experience shows that you can love someone deeply, and still opt to divorce, or break-up.
     Where do you see yourself in one year, five years and 10 years? Your partner should be living similar life goals in sync with yours.
     Couples drift a part and claim that they have become different individuals than when they first got married. It goes back to being in tune with each other’s life aspirations and keeping the lines of communication open at all times.
     Contemporary singer Adele says:

However far away I will always love you
However long I stay I will always love you
Whatever words I say I will always love you
I will always love you

     True achievement is never a one-time happening, but rather an ongoing series of correct choices. Even after spending the necessary time figuring out your aim in life, don't put your life on "automatic-pilot."
     Revisit your aspirations and modify or change them when necessary. Couple “date nights” or getaways rekindle and reaffirm love all so well.
     Thanks, Elton John and Tim Rice, for this timeless message:

It’s the Circle of Life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and hope
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the Circle of Life

     Love is a work in progress. May it be gentle for you.