Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Love must be as much a light, as it is a flame.  ~Henry David Thoreau

Thoreau conveys it so simply here, yet every word drips with much deeper meaning. I am only 27 years old. And what's more, I've only experienced love in a few ways in those 27 years. I've not experienced the love of a couple who's been married for 50 years, or the love of someone I've just married, nor can I fathom the love of a widow for her late husband. But, as I'd mentioned in a prior post about different kinds of soul mates, I also believe there are different kinds of love.

In the recent weeks, I've been reexamining this belief, turning it over in my mind, trying to figure out why it has been at the forefront of my thoughts as of late. Well, there are several reasons behind its prominence, but those are not what I'm choosing to write about here. The pull in me that brings my fingers to these keys wants to write about a way to look at love that is relatively novel to me. As I'm sure many people can relate, there is no logic in love. And honestly, in my opinion, that's the absolute beauty of the emotion. It has no bounds, no limits. It is not restrained by rationale.

There's no controlling it, there's no stopping it or derailing it. It just ... is.

While my inner wisdom has always told me there are different types of love, different levels of loving someone and being in love, what experience has shown me so far is that it's not necessarily what kind of love you feel or accept in your life, or whether or not it's "healthy" or "unhealthy," it's about how you treat that love from its birth that determines its long-term effects. 

It may be a cliche metaphor, but I can't help think about the image of a delicate crimson rose, thorns protruding from its stem. When handled gently, nurtured, watered and given air, it flourishes, its thorns gently prodding and pushing when needed. But when coddled, starved, selfishly possessed or suffocated, it slowly wilts, dwindling to its demise; its remaining thorns, piercing. Love can nourish, it can spur growth in us and it can ignite -- like Thoreau's image of a flame -- however, if that blaze is taken for granted, manipulated, coerced into being something it isn't meant to be, it will slowly be smothered to ash. It will no longer be a light to anything.

But if we step away from our own perspectives, our wants, our suffering, our innately selfish desire to tightly hold onto each petal and every thorn, to feel the heat of that flame ... if we pry ourselves away from that -- for even just a moment -- we might catch a glimpse of what love can really do and what it can become. Because, as I've realized in the people I've loved, it wasn't until I stepped aside, put out my hand and opened my palm to selflessly let the wind carry away that rose, that it was truly able to grow and take on the form it was meant to, whether it was simply to inspire growth in someone or help them reach their potential, whether it was meant to heal or reawaken them. I realize that is not for me to determine or control. That is not for me to force or attempt to mold. 

Because the truth is, it was never about me.

It was simply about ... love.

 ~ C ~


  1. So beautifully written, Cassandra. You've moved me (once again). <3

  2. Cassandra

    Your posts are introspective and interesting. They make one take the time to stop and think for a few moments.

    Maybe someday you will be able to make a living out of writing! :-)

  3. Thanks Steve ... and yes, maybe one of these days ;-) But in the meantime, guess I'll just keep on writing.