July 11
Love doesn't suit the lazy;
sometimes it requires
strong, precise actions.

Susanna Tamaro


Today's Meditation:

Love doesn't just happen.  And it's not something that improves with age or grows ripe or comes with directions.  Love is the result of effort--effort to be aware of the needs of others, effort to fulfill those needs, effort to feel compassion and do something about it, effort to help where help is needed, even if that help is just being there and listening when you might rather be talking yourself.

"Romantic" love helps to perpetuate the myth that love is just something that we fall into, like a swimming pool or a puddle of mud.  When we see love as something that we "fall" in, then we have no responsibility for that love or for any work that will make that love stronger.  After all, when we fall in love, we're both committed to each other, and everyone lives happily ever after, right? 

The answer, of course, is no.  That's not right.  Sometimes love requires us to do things we don't want to do, like ground our daughter or reprimand our son.  It may require us to stop doing something we love doing, and it may require us to start doing things that we don't really want to do.  Love requires us to take strong actions when and if love is our highest priority, and when and if the motivation behind all of our actions is, indeed, love.

When Susanna says that "love doesn't suit the lazy," she makes it clear that we cannot be lazy in our approach to love.  Love takes effort, and most importantly, love is worth every effort that we give to it.  We must decide not to be lazy if our love is to come anywhere close to reaching its potential; it's not going to do so just because we want it to or through some act of God.  It's completely up to us and our efforts.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of actions might be appropriate for developing love and helping it to grow?

Why do we often think that if we're in love, there's no action required on our  part to keep that love alive and healthy?

What do you think Susanna means by "Love doesn't suit the lazy"?

For further thought:

Effort matters in everything, love included.
Learning to love is purposeful work.

Michael Levine


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