Truth and Love: Weekly message for 09-26-2023

Dear Friends, 

I have been reflecting lately on love. I’ve come to the conclusion that real love has to coincide with truth. To love someone or something for what it is not, is not to love it. Finding and loving that which is actually true of the other is essential to love. 

For example, if I say, “I love pizza, except for the cheese and tomato sauce,” then I don’t really love pizza. I love pizza crust. Pizza is a bad example, though, because you cannot have a relationship with pizza. No matter how much you love pizza, it can never love you back, because pizza has no capacity to love. 

I could also say, “I love dogs! Except, I hate how they shed and breathe in my face and lick me and sniff me. I hate how excited they get and the sound of their barking.” This is not love either, because the truth of a dog includes all those things. The dog would have to stop being a dog for me to actually love it. The only way the dog can show love is by doing all those things. It cannot change and adapt to suit me. I must change and adapt to it. A dog’s free choice is limited. 

People, on the other hand, are way more interesting. We can fall in love. We can fall in hate. We can please or disappoint, make up or disown, accompany or abandon. We can do it all in one day. The more truth we know of the other, the more we choose to love or not to love—another or ourselves. 

There is one more difference between the love of a dog and the love of a person: Can a dog love itself? Can a dog hate itself? While I have witnessed affection, anger and fear in a dog’s range of emotions, I never witnessed those two self-referential emotions in them.

In myself and in others, however, I have many times experienced or seen the emotions of self-love and self-hate in their fullest beauty and misery.

Count on my prayers!

Nicole Buchholz

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