“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” – Mother Teresa
There’s something to be learned from old married couples: the concept of comfortable love. Comfortable love is, to me, the love that is left when all conflict, all difficulty, and all challenge has been overcome and defeated by the sheer strength and willingness of love.
I suspect Mother Teresa wasn’t talking about this kind of love in her quote. Understanding a bit about her background, I suspect she was talking about the love that overcomes the hurt of those less fortunate, sick, or dying.
However, this idea of loving someone until it hurts, until you’re exhausted, until you don’t think you have any more love to give… this kind of love is the stuff that makes life worthwhile, and the stuff that binds a couple together through all kinds of life experiences, in any kind of long-term loving partnership.
I’ve written before about how love is a verb, not a noun. We don’t get anywhere by sitting around waiting for it to show up. But we DO get somewhere when we actively give and create love. And when we create love, there is more love. It’s as simple as that.
I have also written before about how the path to an awesome life isn’t always easy. It’s usually very, very simple. But rarely easy.
My marriage isn’t always easy. But it is always simple. I simply love my wife. I feel like we’ve reached a deep level of comfortable love in our marriage. I believe that by having withstood the challenges we’ve faced together so far, there’s nothing the world can throw our way that we can’t handle.
I’m making such a fuss about this today because we just watched the movie Date Night on our date night. (Funnily enough.) It is an EPIC movie. Funny. Thrilling. Terribly observant about married life – or at least, about some of the stereotypes of married life.
One of the themes of the film is about the nature of love in relationships. The film asks: Is it OK for a couple to be in a consistent, comfortable place with their love and their relationship? Is it a problem if people have a routine? Does a marriage (or any relationship) need car chases and gun shots and action and excitement to be valid?
The beautiful conclusion to this film (spoiler alert!) is how Phil Foster (Steve Carell’s lead character) says to his wife – after a very challenging night with car chases and gun shots and action and excitement – he says:
“I’d do it again, you know. Us, you, me the kids, all of it. I’d do it again. I’d choose you every time.”
Which, to me, brings home the point beautifully that actually, comfortable love is perfectly fine. Love that has worked hard, been knocked and beaten, and still come through, is actually awesome.
Love until it hurts, and eventually there will only be love remaining. Here’s to each of you having that kind of love in your lives.
With comfortable love,
PS It’s been a little quiet of late – what are you up to? How is life treating you? Drop me a line! I’d love to hear from you.