An Open Letter to Our World:

“Love means not having to say you’re sorry,” Erich Segal famously wrote as a piece of dialogue in his wonderful book Love Story over 25 years ago.  Today, I would like to amend that.  I want to say…

“Love means not having to say you’re bad.”

I was musing about this earlier this morning with my wonderful wife, Em.  “You know what I think love is?” I asked.  “What?” she smiled.  “I think love is a willingness to always return your Beloved to the highest ideas about themselves that they’ve ever had.”

Em smiled again.

“I think this is what God does for us,” I went on.  ”I think God’s ‘job’ is to return us every day to the highest idea we’ve ever had about ourselves.  I think God sees us the way we see us in our highest version.  I think God says to us, ‘Yes, yes, that is Who You are.  Stay with that!  Stick with that!  Don’t give that up!  And don’t ever let anyone tell you anything different about yourself.”

I think that when we do this for our Beloved, and our Beloved does this for us, we have a match made in Heaven.

But what happens in so many relationships is this:  We meet someone to whom we are attracted, and we fall in love.  We then see them in all their wonderful ways, virtually without fault or foible.  If we are lucky, they fall in love with us, too.  And they see us in the same way: virtually without stain or soil.  If we are really lucky, we become Life Partners.

Then the Moment-to-Moment sets in.

In the Moment-to-Moment, and over a period of time, our Beloved begins to see things in us that were not immediately apparent to them — or that were apparent, but that they easily and graciously ignored.  In addition, some things that they could never have seen, because they were not close enough, now become visible.  The Moment-to-Moment reveals things about us that the Now-and-Then does not.

So now here we are, standing, literally, naked, confronted by the reality that we have some “stuff” going on that our Beloved hadn’t seen or anticipated; that we, ourselves, had almost forgotten about in the heady days of being loved so unconditionally by another.

Yet now we have to face the facts:  we are not so special as we thought ourselves to be; we are not so wonderful as we imagined ourselves to be, or experienced ourselves to be, in the warm glow of our Beloved’s early and limited perception.  We conclude, sadly, that it’s true.  Our own worst thought about ourself is true.

We should have known better…

We should have known better than to believe that we were what we allowed ourselves to think ourselves to be after being merely glanced, through the Early Eyes of the Newly Loving.


(To be continued…)

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