Real Love can Never be Exclusive

(Part two of a two parter. Part one can be found here.)

When I was a kid, my mum used to tell a story about me as a toddler. She said it like:

“We got you this toy spaceship when you were small. It was a little UFO shaped thing that ran along the ground on wheels. It had batteries that made it light up in colourful patterns and it made funny whirring noises and it would scoot around on the floor in random patterns. You were fascinated by it and would set it going again and again.

“This one time you went to the toilet to do potty and it was a smelly one and while you were in the toilet you had that spaceship running around while you watched it through the open doorway. And I was watching it too. And it was really comical because the spaceship would set off towards the toilet as if it was going inside, but just as it for to the doorway it would turn around and head away from the toilet as fast as its little wheels would carry it. And it did this over and over again. It was as if it wanted to be near you but it couldn’t stand the smell of the poo you were doing. And all I could do was laugh.”

We anthropomorphise things. We treat them as if they are alive and have feelings. We talk to them and imagine that they listen and have an emotional reaction to us. In short, we treat them like humans. And that’s what my mum was doing with this little toy spaceship.

If that toy really did have a mind then it would have been in love with me, but not in love with my poo. (Sorry about the smell, I’m almost done with this example now.) And, all due respect to that beloved toy, that’s not what true love is really about.

You can’t love something truly without loving everything about it. Similarly, for us to love a person whilst at the same time wishing for some part of them to change is not true love. And, let’s face it, there’s always going to be something about any one person that we dislike.

I have a friend here in York. He’s well-educated and can speak on any subject you choose like a pro. World events, the development of psychedelic pop, literature trends in Germany, business models of the eighteenth century, tablecloth manufacture in sub-saharan Africa – anything you can bring to mind. And he’s an interesting speaker too. He can hold you rapt as he shares his knowledge with his cultured yet slightly vulnerable manner. Plus, he’s got a huge heart too. He’s generous with everything he has. But here’s the thing – he’s a bit of a joker.

Try to say something to him and it’s guaranteed that he’ll turn it into a joke by putting on an accent or pulling a face or laughing it off with some ridiculous comment about something entirely unrelated to what you’re talking about.

And it annoys the socks off of me. It drives me potty. No matter how much I tell myself that it’s just his way and that his good points far outweigh his drawbacks I just can’t stop myself from getting upset. In short, I don’t love him truly.

Everything has qualities and attributes. A plant grows towards the sun, sucks up water, is plant-coloured (generally green, but not always) and has some way of making new plants. These are some of these attributes of a plant. A rock has a different set of attributes and an iPhone has still another array of qualities. And everything is the same; even God.

But here’s the thing about God: he only has good qualities and so there’s nothing to become annoyed about when you’re thinking of him. This means that you can have real love for him.

I don’t have any interesting personal anecdotes about God and so I’ll leave it there for now. But, yeah – you should love God if you’re looking for true love. Don’t bother with toy robots, plants, rocks, iPhones or charismatic speakers – just love God.

Oh, wait – there is one more thing: if you want to be loved, then become more like God. Meditate on his qualities. Remember him as much as you can. Be more like he is: peaceful, loving, joyful, truthful and pure.

Then you’ll see how fast that little robot toy’ll come rolling towards you down through the years. Love is such a wonderful gift to give and get, right?

Questions?

(Part two of a two parter. Part one can be found here.)

22 thoughts on “Real Love can Never be Exclusive

      • Ah I apologize…. I haven’t been following you for long and I guess it’s presumptuous of me… But I wasn’t expecting you to talk about God. My experience of British people in my small world (mostly family) seem quite secular and so I found it refreshing but that I guess is a reflection of my own reality. I hope I am not sounding more ambiguous now. It was meant as something good because I related to what you wrote. πŸ˜„

        Liked by 2 people

        • Ah, I see. Got you. πŸ™‚
          Yeah, I suppose we tend to keep our faith to ourselves here in the UK so this would be quite unusual.
          Thanks for taking the time to explain, Morag – I feel infinitely less puzzled now. πŸ™‚
          Do people in SA talk openly about God more that here do you think?

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          • Yes I do think so, there are many perceptions of God, many nuances of religions and spirituality (traditional and non-conformist) and atheists but I think people are on the whole quite open and happy to discuss it. You do find the few dogmatic types and a few that want nothing to do with the topic. I have been a rather spiritual person from a young age… Always questioning and thinking and finding my way. It was a unique path because I have always been a non-conformist.
            And how about you?

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            • I’ve been spiritual since my late teens – mainly Buddhism but I’ve always been obscurely ashamed of this side of me (only just realised this now, because you asked) and so I’ve not shared much about it in conversation with friends and family. It’s only on this forum I feel that I can open up. It feels safer here somehow …

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            • I like Buddhism too although I would not call myself a practicing Buddhist. I am probably not officially practicing any particular thing right now… I find it can be hard to talk to others who i feel might judge… And spirituality is a profoundly personal journey.. In my mind anyway. Maybe the older generation expects a certain amount of conformity and control which I don’t consider true spirituality. My mother in law used to say that I was a budding mystic and I think all mystics of all religions believe in Love that binds us together beyond race, creed or politics. That is true love that overlooks differences. That is how I aim to write in my blogs… And I guess I also feel far freer to write as I please because I know those who don’t want to read it won’t πŸ˜„ hope you enjoy your weekend πŸŽ‰

              Liked by 1 person

            • If that’s the definition of a mystic (and I’ve no reason to suppose not being as I know nothing about it) then I would say that I am definitely a mystic myself. πŸ™‚
              It’s great to be able to talk honestly to you, Morag. Quite refreshing. How’s the painting coming on these days?

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  1. Pingback: Love has Many Faces | Robert C Day

  2. The loving another person, in spite of their flaws. Yes, this is like the love we receive from God. He loves us in spite of our flaws. That love we receive from him is so complete that He–like our parents– tries to help us overcome those flaws. He tells us we receive consequences–He chastises those He loves. This is how he helps us overcome flaws. Unconditional love for another person–be it spouse, child, friend, acquaintance, etc.–accepts that they have flaws. It accepts them with those flaws. You are right. The closer we are to loving someone as God loves us, the more like God we have become. I enjoyed reading. Thank You for sharing! Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

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