Perhaps it’s my yearning for a little bit of lovin’ or the insistence of rudeness, obliviousness and ostensible unhappiness of the general public that has driven me to think about agape love.
When I was younger, a lot of older people would say, “I don’t like you, but I love you” or some variation of that sentiment. I tried to wrap my mind around it, but even as an adult, I am still befuddled by what appears to be a clear contradiction. I told a friend yesterday, if I don’t like you, it’s doubtful that I love you. Sure, I have been angry and hurt by people, distancing myself while still very much being in love or loving them, but I have never loved someone who I knew little to nothing about, and not liked them.
Love is truly an unconditional gesture. Love, from what I have been taught, is about accepting and interacting with folks in spite of who they are. It’s about being honest without the intention of hurting. Love isn’t self -serving; it’s observing without judging. True love is about removing yourself from the equation and seeing people as they truly are—a reflection of you. When you’re angry, how do you want to be addressed? When you’re hurting, how do want to be heard? When you’re in pain, how do you want to be loved? These questions are I am sure too profound to be considered in those unpredictable moments when we are angry, hurting and in pain.
I don’t love everyone. I judge a lot of people who cross my path because I don’t know who they are. Some of my closest friends are men and women whom I would have never thought I could love. At the very least I try to be kind and respectful to strangers. Love is hard for me, but I don’t want to live so high on a pedestal that my personal morals disconnect me from the process of learning how to love unconditionally.
I’m no saint. If I don’t like you, I don’t love you. But if I do love you, it will always be my mission to continue to do so and learn how to do it better.