|An illustration for Sleeping Beauty by Jessie Willcox Smith|
I agree that people can do silly, insane and plain stupid things in the name of love, but what love doesn't do is to have an impact on anything as itself. Unlike in fairytales, you can't help someone or heal someone just by loving them. That way love doesn't change a thing. Falling in love might change you, and the way you perceive the world, and think about life, but it doesn't change the person you are in love with. 'To change' is probably the wrong term to use in this context, for why would you want to change someone you love in the first place?
If someone is, for instance depressed, loving them won't make a difference. There is no such thing as the magical kiss of true love. It's up to each of us ourselves to make that change. A depressed person could decide that their life is more meaningful because there's someone who loves them, but then it's not the love that helped them; it's the value and the recognition they have given to that sentiment. Obviously, none of this is a conscious process - or at least I assume that no one actually goes like: "Oh, person y loves me. My depression is about -89 at the moment, but when I add the +35 that I get from these warm feelings of person y, I'm only 54 on minus. Might as well get up, feed the cat and bake some muffins since for the last four months I've been buried under covers unable to find any reason do anything at all."
What even is love, and how do you recognise it?
I don't know, but I guess you'll notice when you have it.
It's like you have this bunch of amazing, lovely people in your life who care about you and are incredibly thoughtful and loyal, and then there's someone who's special in ways that you can't quite put your finger on. This someone may possess some really irritating qualities that sometimes make you want to take an axe and slice all your furniture with it while swearing with a dedication that makes people in seven kilometres radius blush violently. Still, for some reason you love the someone. The fact that most likely one or two others in your closest circle has also been blessed with equally difficult natures completely escapes your notice. Why is that? Perhaps you just don't mind them, or they don't make you feel - like properly feel. Friendship love is easy, simple and more adjustive than the romantic kind.
Romantic love is just mad.
I suppose it's a little different for everyone, but for me it's like I'm having all the feelings at once and sometimes it's wonderful, these days mostly horrible.
Then again I know plenty of people who have nice and peaceful relationships with their significant others.
So, remember that this comes from my personal, slightly wonky perspective.
"Love is a many splendored thing,
Love lifts us up where we belong,
All you need is love!"
This is how Christian puts it in the hit musical, Moulin Rouge. He's right - to a certain limit. At first, love truly is great and fluffy and ticklish and intoxicating. However, eventually you get hurt or you hurt someone - or you both hurt each other and get hurt. Or maybe you're one of those rarities who actually do get to live happily ever after, and whose only quarrels concern the dilemma of who ate the last cracker. No but really, when love hurts it truly does HURT with underlined boldface capitals. Suddenly the force that has lifted you to float a couple of metres above ground, made you notice every detail even moderately resembling a heart shape in your surroundings, and printed that ridiculously dopey smirk on your face, beats you down like you've never been beaten before. Now it makes you crawl and gasp for air, and yet you feel this stupid, stupid thing called love and you can't help it. Feeling like you are the stupidest, most foolish, most pathetic, saddest, most pitiful and - I could throw a truckload of other applicable adjectives at you but let's leave it here - most miserable creature in the whole of the universe you try to accept all those hugs and pats on the cheek and 'it's gonna be alright's without falling apart. And God forbid if someone dares say that you'll find someone else... Okay, breathe and don't slap them.
There is no one else.
Love is a bizarre thing. It may break you down but it doesn't die easily.
It makes you weak and strong at the same time.
You can try to make it go away but it won't. It stays there, nagging your soul.
And you don't know if it will ever leave you be.
But it's worth it.
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