Hell is easy and getting there is easier. How difficult is it to give in to lust and commit fornication? Selfishness, hatred, greed, lying, fornication are all easy vices.
Unconditional love, blind faith, acts of service, selflessness, on the other hand, can be very hard. Heaven, therefore, is hard to get into. You have to resist temptations which are very hard. You have to be selfless which is difficult and you have to love unconditionally which can be tough. Unlike Hell, Heaven is rewarding because it is hard to get in.
I have zero illusions about the fact that finding true love, nurturing true love and growing true love is difficult. To think that love is effortless is equivalent to imagining that Heaven is easy to get into with little to no effort. With true love, you are not ashamed to cry when loving someone becomes difficult.
I have an ancient heart. One which has been cruel sometimes and selfless sometimes. I hear people talk about love with a funny ideology that it is supposed to be blissful. I hear people talk about achieving a permanent state of happily-ever-after with marriage and all I can do is chuckle.
I chuckle because this ancient heart of mine knows better. This ancient heart knows too well that when you love the right way and the hard way, it will be the most painful thing you will ever experience. To love effortlessly without the hard work is a sign of weakness. A sign that one will give up at the first sign of trouble.
The pain which comes with loving the hard and right way hurts deeply because to love at all, means to open yourselves to uncertainty and vulnerability. Uncertainty and vulnerability are excruciatingly painful because you have to expose your whole heart, not half or some of it. You have to expose your whole heart to the possibility and uncertainty of pain and joy.
Of all my missteps in love and the messy relationships I have endured, the most salient lesson I garnered is that true love is painful yet rewarding. Also, if someone says to you that he or she does not love you or they disclose that they do not love you enough, that person is actually being honest with you. They care enough not to waste your time because they are in touch with their feelings. It will hurt but I have come to accept such statements as a blessing because, with time, it will all make sense.
Just to be clear, the painful love I am referring to are those relationships which help us grow beyond ourselves. We grow beyond ourselves because the person who truly loves you will understand that his or her role is to enhance your life, not devalue it.
If you are a religious person, you understand and value the rich rewards Heaven offers. You are also painfully aware that faith is not easy. For faith to work, you have to be blind and believe that there will be misfortunes in your life but God still loves you. You, in turn, have to love God despite the difficulties life offers. If it takes years for Him to change your fortunes, you will still love Him the same and be patient.
That kind of love is the one I have always sought after; the kind I still seek. True love will hear these words over and over again; nothing you do will make me love you less.
Someone once asked me to come up with a phrase to describe the realities of my love life over the years and I came up with this statement;Without sex, some women have meant nothing to me and without money, I have meant nothing to some women.
This statement is a rather harrowing way to sum up one’s love life, isn’t it? Sex and money is easy. One can easily put up a fascade to achieve both without much effort.
With that, I speak for myself when I state that I distrust anyone who comes into my life and paints a rosy picture of love being perfect and painless. Anyone to whom I profess love easily without any effort should distrust me also. I know that kind of love does not exist.
Every relationship I entered into quickly without hard work ended badly. I still have fond memories of and I am still good friends with the women I took the time and pains to know before we dated.
True love isn’t a fluffy teddy bear, it isn’t a cute heart-shaped emoji, and it isn’t the sweet smell of roses which shows up at your door. For me, true love rolls up its sleeves, gets ready to work in the mud and the dirt with sweat dripping down the forehead.
Where there is true love, pain does not break you down, it builds you up to love better and harder. If someone will not roll up his or her sleeves, it is a total waste of time to convince them to do so.
True love is being asked repeatedly to do the impossible over and over again but with the assurance that the person asking is also willing to roll up his or her sleeves, get into the mud and dirt and do the same for you.
You’ve got to laugh a little, cry a little
You’ve got to win a little, lose a little
And let your poor heart break a little
That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love
Durante, Jimmy; “The Glory Of Love”
By Kwadjo Panyin