Someone, who was hurting, once told me that Love is Pain. I did not have a solid answer for them at the time other than, no it isn’t.
Love is in no small part the absence of pain. Hopefully what follows will help you to understand it is not a lack of painful events. Rather a lack of pain being allowed to take hold.
Most importantly, love is writing a blank check explicitly stating, I am willing to accept the burden of any pain you experience in order to help you through it. Quite simply, your pain is my pain.
There was pain in my marriage. Sometimes I was the cause. Sometimes Dawn was the cause. Sometimes one of the kids, a family member, the dog or a complete stranger was the cause. More often then not, it was Cancer. All of these things and events caused pain. They also gave us an opportunity to fill out a little more of that blank check. They gave both of us the opportunity to share in the love, the love that shares the pain and thus makes it smaller. In seeing your partner shoulder your pain, your love grows. In having the love grow, the pain diminishes. When the pain diminishes, the love grows. In the end, I am actually backwardly thankful to cancer (don’t get me wrong cancer, if you were a person, I would kill you with my bare hands) for giving Dawn and I the dynamic to purify our love. With each cycle it got easier and more pure. It took many cycles of pain, but we ended up with a fairly distilled and pure love.
Love is not pain. Pain is not love. Dawn learned that intimately in her second “marriage”. But she and I learned that pain shared and thus diminished is an act of Love. Love learned and earned that way is LOVE. We also learned love is blind, but LOVE is a decision, actually many thousands of small decisions. Friends, look at the love you have. Look at what you need to do to make it LOVE. It is not easy at first, but it gets easier once you knowingly and consciously make that blank check decision and decide to honor it completely. Then you too will experience LOVE.
I hope this helps someone, today make a reason to be truly thankful next Thanksgiving.