beloved love

Love and Sacrifice

9:30:00 AMUnknown

“It’s so easy to fall in love, it’s so easy to fall in’s so easy, it’s so easy, it’s so easy.” It seems that Buddy Holly had some truth to say about the first stages of love between a man and woman. Why does it seem so easy to fall in love? There is a lot going on the beginning stages between the lover and the beloved. The man who loves the woman wants to impress her in every way possible: to win her heart, but most of all to show her she is loved. The simple ways of loving her moves her to love him back . She wants to give him all her heart in response to the love he has given her. It’s easy when you feel so loved to give so much love back. All the imperfections of the other are overlooked. The love fills their hearts and minds so much that it never occurs to the lover and the beloved that those first initial gifts of love to each other were forms of sacrifice.

When the charged emotions of the first movement of love settle, humanity once again surfaces and imperfections take on a different form in the eyes of the lover and the beloved. The faults that were once so easy to let go of, become problems. When the man is not feeling loved anymore by the woman, but he loves her, how is he to respond to the unlove? Or when the woman is not feeling loved anymore by the man, but she loves him, how is she to respond to the unlove? Will the response still be love?

Yes, the answer should always be love, whether romantic love or non-romantic love. But it requires something greater when the “easy lovin” goes away. There must be an understanding of love that is sacrificial. A sacrifice that crushes one’s ego. “One has not to hit bottom of life but only the bottom of one’s ego. One has not hit the bottom of his soul but only of his instinct; not the bottom of his mind but of his passions; not the bottom of his spirit but of his sex.”(1) Once one’s passions peter out, one realizes the need for sacrifice in order for love to endure. Love becomes purified in the sacrifice, especially in the denial of one’s ego. The proof of true love of the beloved is sacrifice.

Love is sacrificial. When we are broken down to our nothingness and find that love is the only way to answer the beloved, and the beloved responds to the sacrificial love, the love is no longer trivial, but deep--it’s intimate. “In love and only in love does one turn to another in such a way that one gives oneself one’s most intimate being.” (2) Loving the beloved sacrificially in this way is hard. The most authentic emotions are greatly hidden, which calls the beloved to trust.

If Buddy Holly had ever made another song about love, I wonder what he would say about it being “so easy” to stay in love. I think he would change the words to “it’s so hard to stay in love, it’s so hard to stay in love, but it’s so worth it, it’s so worth it, it’s so worth it.” And why is it so worth it? Because the love that you learn by choosing to love incomparably changes the authenticity in loving another. Out of all the characteristics of love, choosing to love, sacrificing oneself for love is truly the greatest.

[1] Fulton J. Sheen’s Three to Get Married. New York: Scepter Publishers, 2006. p.181
[2] Dietrich von Hildebrand’s The Nature of Love. South Bend: St. Augustine's Press, 2009. p.64

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