I wonder which word is irresponsibly spewed more–love or hate? I hear a lot about hate–hate speech, hate crimes, hate taxes, hate my ex, blah blah. Surely hate exists, it’s easy to hate. To hate some idea, or to hate someone, is sophisticated and elegant, it gives someone a purpose. If one hates something, it can imply an enlightened view supplemented with reason and justification, it can imply parameters and ethics, it provides a place. Hate can be ironic or undermining–we kill those we hate, and what is murder but the action of hate? I kill Christians because I love Allah, I hate gays because I love Christ, I hate immigrants because I love America. To hate something can be understood as, or appropriated as, an expression of love for something else..hate and love can exist in direct relation. All is misunderstood, all is selfish.
Similarly, love is over used as well. It is odd perhaps, but the irresponsible abuse of the word, concept, or action of love is more maddening than the silly (silly in that it commands no recognition, silly in that is childish) banner of hate. Love has the advantage of representing, or being understood as a positive emotion, which leaves it vulnerable to poetic leeches and slogans. Love has become more than it actually is. Love does not exist on it’s own, it is not self sustained. Love is not its own momentum. Love can not be relied upon. Love is not a savior. Sometimes I think that love is never recognized in real time, it is only recognized in retrospect after one can look upon history and see a live lived in blind devotion. Love is not a magical connection, it does not happen in those beautiful moments. Lust and infatuation exist as themselves, it is because love is so misunderstood that leads to those romantic avatars which fool the vulnerable into claiming love.
I’ve heard love associated with freedom, but an existence in love is a welcomed oppression. Love is willed by ones autonomy, and then enslaves one to another, and that enslavement is voluntarily willed each day based on a falling into place and a peace that is not able to be communicated, nor even understood. Love is a display of faith. One can witness faith in love between two people more often than love between an individual and God, a faith that is more real only because it can be witnessed. The word “love” is used so often and without consequence that is has become just that…a word, and nothing more. Very few know love, very few want to truly know love. There is joy in love, and contentment in love, and because of that it can be said that one can be thankful in bondage, and that is love indeed…love is revolutionary because it is constantly shocking and leaves no one unchanged.
If one’s love is selective–if one’s love chooses those in need, or those with mutual aspirations and interests, or the selfish artists, then one’s love is selfish, and to be selfish is not to love. Are there different types of love? Do those loves order themselves into a functional and prioritized hierarchy, and if so, then do those loves that come in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place become more akin to socially or ethically motivated obligations? Is love ever bearable..can one ever take a leave of love?
In certain contexts, hate and love are mutually destructive. Love is uncommunicable in its offerings and constantly demanding. I would much rather the word “hate” be over used, no one is destroyed when one discovers their enemy never really hated them.
My love is my secret and will make no sense and offer no benefit to anyone else. My love uplifts me and my beloved, and others can go on without knowing it at all. My love will not save me, it will enlighten me to my own unique an existential joy. I do not love everyone, and charity is not given in love. Many emotions parade in the cloak of love, yet there is only one true love, and it is frightful.
“when we swear, my love is real, we mean, i like the way you make me feel”