Love is hardwork

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That one moment in your life when you realise you’ve just met that one person you want to spend the rest of your life with. The rush of emotions; the initial confusion, trying to come to terms with the sudden realisation or make it go away. That feeling of breathlessness when the object is near. The air cracks and sizzles–chemistry. The invasion of your mind, when it’s away. When you think you just saw it up ahead, or smelled it’s perfume by the roadside….it’s everywhere and nowhere.The hard thump of your heart against your ribs, and the mad dash of racing pulse. The stone at the pit of your stomach…or are those butterflies? Leaving you tongue tied when you really must say something.Β  Heightened emotions–everything matters so long it comes from it.
That helpless feeling when you realise you can’t walk away. It’s real when you can’t walk away, they say.
You get used to it. You accept it. You’re in–hook, line, and sinker. The whole 360 degrees.

But it isn’t rosy. It’s only as perfect as when you are together, and you must work to stay together. One day, all that breathlessness goes away. You must learn to coexist in the same space. Accomodate quirky habits. Fight. Make up. And they get more frequent–the cycle. You want to go away. End it. But you don’t. You fell for a package, and so you fight for a package. You fan the embers periodically. Build a flame. Revel in it.

But it grows old. It grows cold.

Someday you settle for comfort outside passion–or the next best thing. The deafening silence that screams a thousand words. That hums in the day and whispers at night of spoken promises of long ago to old weary bones. The cycle continues.

Then into the darkness you ask, ‘why?’
And the silence whispers, ‘because love is hardwork.’

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28 thoughts on “Love is hardwork

  1. ameen mock July 23, 2014 / 12:24 pm

    yes indeed, for it will always be hardwork for many of us, that are still learning to climb the ropes, and still jumping the hurdles all in the promising efforts of watching it become easier by the day, for if it fades slowly or grows steadily, still the decision is ours to make and at least adjusting or comforming ourselves to an exciting phase.

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    • uju July 23, 2014 / 12:49 pm

      I love how you put this, Ameen. We learn how to love everyday, and our success rate is determined-like everything else- how much effort we are willing to put into it, and over never-give-up spirit. Everything is a choice.
      Thank you for your beautiful input πŸ™‚

      Like

  2. ujuh May 12, 2014 / 3:22 pm

    Interesting Ifemmanuel. I agree with you when you say friendships are the best expressions of love, but don’t you think it’s that way because psychologically we understand that we aren’t compelled–either by law or religion–to stay with such a person?

    And the pleasure bit, I think working hard to keep the flame alive will be a bit more pleasurable if our partner is working just as hard too. Nothing is really so cool when it’s one-way, neither is it easy to deal with unless of course you’re God.

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    • ifemmanuel May 13, 2014 / 6:42 am

      I’m not sure I can properly deconstruct why I think friendships are the best expressions of love. It is one of those things I’ve come to believe through my experience and watching people around me.

      I agree with you that friendship is more pleasurable when the two parties are working at it.

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  3. ifemmanuel May 12, 2014 / 7:00 am

    I think the confusion about love stems from the fact that it’s been reduced to emotions. These emotions are what C.S. Lewis described as the explosion that starts the love that keeps the engine of marriage running. It is not the thing that keeps it running, it just starts it. That comfort outside passion is where love is really brewed. And this even reduces love to the kind that exists in marriage.

    I’m not married yet so I’m still permitted to believe that friendships are the best expressions of love. You make the decision to stay with a person in spite of their bad habits and follow through regardless of the odds against it. That has to involve some work but the pleasure that comes from it makes the work worthwhile.

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  4. udoka23 April 27, 2014 / 11:00 pm

    Uju,
    I’m sorry, I didn’t understand the post thoroughly before commenting. I think you are 100% right. There will definitely be such ‘low ‘ times in a relationship when it seems the fire is going down. At such times, it will take maturity, patience and hard work from both parties to work things out, resolve their differences and rekindle the passion. It means working to keep the union and the love. Makes lot of sense. Never saw it that way. maybe cos I was love-struck, lol.

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    • ujuh April 28, 2014 / 6:08 am

      Ah glad you finally get it, Udo. About being love struck, it happens to us at least once in a lifetime(if we’re lucky) lol. I daresay that’s the inspiration for this post *winks*

      Like

  5. udoka April 23, 2014 / 10:10 pm

    Uju, hope u are doing great?

    Love is hard work but a sweet one when there is love in it. The things we do for love are things we love doing and will continue doing because we are in love. If it becomes strenuous, then it is possible the love part of it is missing.

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    • ujuh April 24, 2014 / 11:55 am

      Hello Udoka, I think there may be a bit of dissatisfaction not because the feelings aren’t there, but because somehow it is insufficient.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. udoka April 23, 2014 / 10:04 pm

    Really very nice piece

    Like

  7. tyrion86 April 21, 2014 / 9:29 am

    Sure. Anytime.

    @your name: I’ll do that. The courtesy works both ways though, if I might add. You know where I mean.

    Like

    • ujuh April 21, 2014 / 9:51 am

      Thanks.

      Lol, no I have no idea where you mean.

      Like

      • tyrion86 April 21, 2014 / 10:04 am

        I’m sure you’ll figure it out eventually, Uju.

        Like

        • ujuh April 21, 2014 / 10:11 am

          I think I just did.

          Like

  8. tyrion86 April 21, 2014 / 7:52 am

    @ujuh

    Here’s the bane of my life: I have got to prove everything before I can accept them as law and freely preach them to other people. That’s why I make a lot of mistakes and take so much time with things that most people pretty much breeze through. So when I talk, I don’t theorize except when an experience is still unfolding and I’m trying to understand it by hypothesizing.

    Love makes work easy or else you won’t bother to do the work at all. Even perfectly fitted parts will not work well without grinding each other unless they are oiled. It’s like trying to keep the ten commandments without caring enough about God to bother. You’ll hate Him for the trouble it takes (and we are perfectly fitted to mesh with God, our nature so perfectly synced to His ordinarily). But if you loved Him first, pleasing Him will be the only thing that matters to you and you’ll find doing what He says a pleasure rather than a pain.

    @comfortable silence: good for you. Wish Jesus hit that point with His Father and told us about it. We wouldn’t be needing to pray so freaking often. It does seem like the Love manual comes with one instruction only: talk each other’s ears off. That’s why marriages are so cool: shut up for a minute and the other person goes crazy. Oh, they know you in and out, how you think and all and yet they would drive you nuts enough to yell just so that they can hear your apparently exceptional voice.

    I don’t mean that you could never be silent. Silence has its place, I’m sure, but then I’ve never heard that it could replace talking and I’ve never experienced “comfortable silences” positively – soon enough, the connection fades into nothing if we are comfortably silent long enough. I could give you myriad examples in nature where there is never a real silence in nature even when nothing is “talking” but I’ve made my case well enough, I think.

    @one person giving and another taking and not giving back: Love must go and come to be Love. It’s an oil for relationships, remember? You’ll want Love back. When you give it, you’ll become hollow and you’ll hunger to be filled and nothing will be enough but the same quality you gave. It is not selfish, it is perfect.

    It does not thus become hardwork. What happens is that frustration sets in. That frustration could be because the two parts are not a fit so the oil makes very little difference, each will be giving and requiring different qualities of oil if they do give at all. Still Love makes the grinding and grating on each other easier or else you could never stand a moment with the person in question.

    There’s another reason for frustration. The parts could be of one cast and have a perfect fit. The oil is there at work but only from one part and not the other. Still Love is not hard work there. It simply makes the pain of waiting for the other to wake up a lot easier to bear or else you would not bother to wait.

    Love is not hard work. It makes hard work easy. And relating to human beings, whether you are God, a human being, a dog or a tree, is hard work, to put it rather lightly.

    Wisdom though would be to put round pegs in round holes. Nature will tell you again and again, when you mix the wrong things together you will not get good fruit in return. Seen it enough times in my own young life, suffering man that I am.

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    • ujuh April 21, 2014 / 8:59 am

      Of course. When I start to see things that way, I’ll be sure to write about it.
      Thanks for your input πŸ™‚

      P.S Spell my name as Uju, please? I feel odd seeing the ‘h’ included. Had to use it because the other wasn’t available and I wanted my name πŸ™‚

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  9. livelytwist April 20, 2014 / 6:31 pm

    Malcolm Gladwell says that hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning. I would go the distance for love if I believed it was worth it. I hope my partner would feel the same way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ujuh April 20, 2014 / 9:09 pm

      That’s the condition for our unconditionality, hoping that our partner feels the same way we do. It makes all the hurdles easier to jump if you are jumping together.
      Do we always find that?

      Liked by 1 person

    • tyrion86 April 21, 2014 / 4:16 am

      Quite right, Timi, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. πŸ™‚

      @ujuh, Timi’s right, there are no guarantees and thus no conditions for unconditionality. You just give everything and hope you get it all back. Love never actually starts with “will I get this back?” It always does with “here’s everything I’ve got, I hope it’s enough”. πŸ™‚

      @love is hard: I used to preach that sermon too. But it isn’t true. Love is the oil of relationship. You can hardly call the grease that makes it possible for parts that would otherwise damage each other by contact to work together “hard”. It’s not hard.

      I know that Love is the one lesson that we are finding really hard to grasp in our generation, so everyone really should share what they have learned by experience and make life easier for everyone else. Here’s what I’ve got:

      Psychologically, there are three parts to you, your intellect, your will and your emotions. Your intellect is the king that somehow comes up with the commands; your will is the enforcer of those commands and your emotions are your wild little children, they’re how you experience those commands.

      Like wild little children, like the wind, emotions are rude and unreliable. To build anything on them is to ensure collapse of what you build. So you do not build anything on them. You do not build anything on “chemistry”, “sizzling and crackling air” and “mind-invasion”. The reason is simple, the wind, the wild storm does not blow forever. That’s the very character of the wild, it does not stay, it is fleeting.

      So you never start at how you feel when you come to Love. You start at “who is this?” Love oils relationship, it does not remake parts, it does not make a foot a good left hand to wash with the right hand. There are parts that were not designed to fit and that is not a bad thing. For them to fit, they will have to change their fundamental character and THAT is a bad thing. Love never requires that nor offers that. That is the reason “Love” gets hard. It really doesn’t, it’s just reality hitting you when you finally return to earth.

      You will run out of things to say because at first you really didn’t share that much. Hence the silence. You will run out of feelings because, well, those children tire of play easily and the wind always eventually dies (except in certain special places πŸ™‚ ). You need more than wild emotions to make Love. You need the “comfort without passion”.

      If you are not at rest with someone, you most likely do not fit. When you pay attention, you may find that you are trying to change them to fit you and they may be doing the same to you. That is not passion, that is frustration. When you can relate naturally without feeling the need to adjust to them constantly or have them do the same, when you can talk and understand what you are saying to each other, when you sense a resonance (“deep calls to deep” and “iron sharpens iron” kind of thing πŸ™‚ ), when you can share yourself with ease and not have to push yourself so hard to trust them, that is comfort. And, er, that does not erase or reduce passion. πŸ™‚ Matter of fact, I’ll let you in on something I found: that place – comfort – is tranquil to your ears generally, that’s because there’s only one person (in two bodies though) there, as there usually is at the tops of the mountains where the winds blow and never die.

      Children tend to be very wilful and stubborn when they want their way, but that does not make them experts at anything apart from being a royal, lovable pain. Same thing with emotions. The ability to let the wrong things go, to sometimes put our foot down is how we keep life going. It is not impossible to somehow use feet like hands or get by with the wrong fit of clothing, but it is neither necessary nor useful and eventually the irritation may not be worth it.

      Finally, I know how it feels when you want something so bad that you consign every other possibility to second place. But that is childish. Many times, the things that come first are inferior to the things that come last. True, we set our standards generally by the first experiences but if we keep an open mind, we may find that what comes next is not second-best at all, it is not something to “settle” for at all. Love is not work, ujuh, love is what makes work easy. πŸ™‚

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      • ujuh April 21, 2014 / 6:29 am

        Resonance, I had to chuckle.
        Love makes work easy, in theory. I think that only works when you’re getting back as much as you are giving. I understand love should be unconditional at best and we should think, ‘what can I offer?’ But we are humans, Ty, and we will always yearn for something in return.

        So all that passion came and gave way for the comfortable silence. I like the comfortable silence, where words are no longer very necessary to get the message and understand. In fact I admire people who get to that point.

        But if one party keeps thinking, “how much can i give?” and the other is thinking, “how much can I take?” You don’t see the possibility of hardwork there? Atleast for the giving party?

        All I see are assumptions. There is perfect love–in cordial and romantic relationships, but in the latter we tend to want back as much as we are giving. We hope…that’s what I meant by ‘condition for unconditionality’. If we cannot get that..the effort from our partner, then we might as well be putting all that effort for nothing.
        So deciding to stay despite it all is hardwork. Hoping that someday he/she will find you worthy of the sacrifice and whatever that comes with love is hardwork. Staying put when every single desire is gone(and you can have both the love and passion), trying to keep things together is hardwork.

        Maybe there are ideal models of how things should be, but I write about things like I percieve them.

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  10. arthurdidymus April 17, 2014 / 6:45 pm

    I guess you’re right, love really is heart work. Thanks for this lovely story.

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    • ujuh April 19, 2014 / 7:14 am

      Thank you, Arthur πŸ™‚

      Like

  11. Ron Lewis April 16, 2014 / 6:38 am

    Very nice, and very true. Love does require hard work. Although it can be difficult, it’s important to look beyond the initial physical attraction and try to determine if the other person is just as “attractive” on the “inside” as well as the “outside.” After all, looks fade and what are we left with? It’s also important to work at being more “selfless” rather than “selfish.” I think that too many people forget to do this. Just my two cents worth. πŸ˜‰

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    • ujuh April 16, 2014 / 9:48 am

      I agree with you , Ron especially the being selfless with love bit. The stuff of good relationship is when each individual involved thinks of how much he can bring to the table, and aims yet again to do more. In the long run no one feels marginalized or shortchanged.

      Thank you for your insight πŸ™‚

      Like

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