Marianne Williams posted on her twitter account:@marwilliamson: " Only Love is Real. The love we give is Real; the love we receive is Real. Everything else is a mortal hallucination. CHOOSE LOVE TODAY."
Yes, we should choose love, always choose love, but what kind of love? We would think that all love is the same, but too many of us know that is not the case. There are many types of love: Eros, Philia, Agape. The first , like the name Eros suggests, is the romantic love, the butterflies in the stomach kinda thing. Philia, is that brotherly, BFF love. And Agape, the most difficult of all love, requires that we love everyone even our enemies. Agape does mean we go up and hug it out with those people who hurt us, abuse us try to do damage to us, no! It requires us to respect them, not like them. It requires that we take time to understand them, not accept everything they believe or think, but allow them to be who they are. Its the I will defend your right to say whatever, though I do not believe it. What is common among these loves is the aspect of respect, something that is missing when we lump every kind of love together.
This brings us to the "love" that we experience that is harmful, selfish, damaging. These loves have no place in the choose love hopefulness. Yet so many people believe that even these loves are worth having. Why is that?
For some love has always been hurtful, and so they do not trust a love that does not seek to hurt. For some familial love came with a cost, and sometimes that cost was far too high. I am thinking about the book by Jaycee Dugard. It is one of the hardest read. As a mother I can not help but feel for her own mom who are decades never gave up of finding Jaycee. It tears at my heart when I read of how Jaycee felt love from her mother, but no love or understanding from her stepfather, whom she assumed didn't like her at all, in fact this assumption was driven home to her when her half sister was born and her step-father lavished love on the girl but none of Jaycee.
The book haunts me. Reading from a first person perspective of how harmful love can damage is horrifying. The abuse she suffered from this twisted man and how he used his warped sense of love and loving to control is enough to make anyone who reads it weep.
Yet through it all Jaycee keeps sane by remembering the love of her mother. The true love that kept her grounded and hopeful. That Agape love of respect and healing that comes from someone who truly puts another needs ahead of their own. Any mother will tell you that is the love of the three o'clock feeding when you just want to be in bed, but you do it because you love, and you can sleep later. Its the Agape love of a mother of a teen caught in drugs, the love that she must have to protect the rest of her family, show respect for the drug abusing child to others, but still stand her ground and help that child get the help they need.
That is the love I choose: Agape!