Long ago, I wanted the happily-ever-after kind of love known in Greek terms as Eros love, so I could fill the empty place within (The term Eros describes the passion—the butterflies and fire felt inside—when falling in love). You see, I longed to experience complete love in all its glory. So, in turn, I focused and even craved the idea of love constantly. This naïve illusion took me off course as I settled for the first person who showed affection and I eagerly accepted his attention (Oh, the innocence of a wayward youth!). With blinders on and an overconfident attitude, I strode ahead with the notion that my darling felt the same way! In time came the harsh truth that there was no ‘we’—no equal partnership— but instead, a dysfunctional union pivoting around power and control. Time passed and despair set in. Preceding our final separation I felt irrevocably broken and unloved.
From the moment of birth until our last dying breath, all living beings are seeking love. It is our nature to want to be accepted and loved. There’s nothing better than being where we are recognized and eagerly welcomed. When a person completely opens up their heart to let someone inside, triggering an unspoken pact to share a part of self with another, thus making each vulnerable to the possibility of being
wounded or even rejected. The sticky part of love is when each person is following their own path where their own reality takes first place.
The craving within me cried out with anguish. I had an aching desire to be loved and to love in return even as I grasped that I was already loved by an awesome God, loved by my family, loved by my friends, and loved by my children. While I wouldn’t want to relive my dysfunctional relationship, at no time have I regretted my involvement, because my God, my savior, opened my heart to begin my spiritual faith-walk with my Lord and Savior. In addition, in the midst of the happening I was given two precious gifts; my beautiful children, of whom I respect, admire and deeply love.
After the relationship ended and time passed, once again I believed I had found real love and, once again, I discovered myself on the wrong course and the wrong kind of love; one involving dishonesty and manipulation. I sensed that the old adage; ‘out of the frying pan and into the fire’ must have been written for me as I regrettably found myself duped yet again! It appeared that real love was destined to be outside my grasp. It even occurred to me that the love I desired might not be in the cards for me or that it didn't exist. There were moments when sadness would settle on my heart and yet every day I felt a constant pull in my soul to continue the quest for real love, the kind God intended.
This journey to find real love led me along various paths, eventually guiding me, with a whisper from above, to my purpose-filled path and the discovery of real love—Agape love. I guess one might say it was my 'Shangri-La' or maybe my earthly paradise. I discovered many things about myself and about what love is and what it is not. The lessons learned have not been easy to digest, but the discovery was worthwhile. I learned how to love my own company rather than basing my happiness on my perception of what love should be or leaning on some other person for my own needs. Here is what I discovered about Agape love:
Agape love is the only form of love that is not held prisoner by its environment or by someone's perception. It is based on a deliberate decision of selfless caring about someone else’s well-being. Agape love not only exists, but overpowers a feuding environment. And even when the passion decreases (and it will), Agape love continues to live. Agape love generates and nourishes a place—much like a garden—where the other forms of love (Eros and Philia) are able to grow!... My longing was actually favorable, because it led to real love. The love that is found at the foot of the cross. For real love is an understanding and a connection that is available to all. God knows us more than we know ourselves and still loves us unconditionally. His love is the purest form of Agape love and I find it mind-boggling trying to fathom the immensity of His love for us. My longing and desire for real love has finally and forever been fulfilled.
"You guide me with your council, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73: 24-26
Until later, Kathy Goodhew
Author of 'A Vision Beyond Abuse'
I sense a need for something greater than self. So, I am led by Christ's love to be an encourager as I share about His faithfulness and grace.