I think the hardest part of life is that of loving someone.
Maybe, it’s because love drains everything out of us, and there is no fixed price on what it will give back in return.
One afternoon, there was a knock on my house. Someone close to my family was getting a divorce. I remembered it vaguely as I watched tears rolling down her face. 25 years of marriage, 25 years of memories, 25 years of building a family together, thrown away. Just like that.
What happened? We asked.
As she buried her head in her hands, she shook her head. I don’t know, she said. Nobody knew what happened, and nobody could help her. It was love, draining everything out of her–and with no fixed price on what it will give back in return, it gave her a sad tragedy.
Along the 23 years of my life, I witness a couple that has been married for 29 years, raised two perfectly healthy and lovable daughters. The couple is my parents. For me, their love toward each other is the closest thing to the perfect love.
Their love story was nothing like a movie; it was nothing besides two people fell in love and decided to grow old together. But throughout their marriage life, I’ve seen most of it–the thick and thin, the sickness and health, the richer and poorer; and through it all, I’ve seen my Dad becomes a rock to my family, and her source of encouragement–so much that she said: After Jesus, marrying your dad is the best decision I’ve ever made in my life. I couldn’t even imagine how my life would be without him. It was love, draining everything out of her–and with no fixed price on what it will give back in return, it gave her a life worth living for.
I guess in life, both scenarios are true. They happened.
After all is said and done, some people stay; but some people leave.
I am not trying to scare the hell out of anyone here; but if it scares you, then good. I hope it will be a wake up call and a powerful reminder–that people leave; that we don’t own anybody. You might say that you tied the knot last Sunday, or you had your solemn vow in front of God and everyone; you might say that you pay someone for what he/she does, or that you gave birth to him a long time ago, but the truth is: you do not own any single soul.
I have seen a lot of people think they own someone–and the danger of owning someone is: we assume that they will put up with us no matter what; even when we are rude; even when we are disrespectful, arrogant and ill mannered. Nothing could be further than the truth.
I guess the key to a successful relationship–whether it is in romance, professional affiliation, or even family bond, like parent to children–is to realize that they are entitled to leave anytime they want; and nobody could ever stop them from doing so, including you. That is why the best that you can do to prevent them from leaving is to realize that they may leave at any moment.
Now, take a good look at them–be it your spouse, siblings, subordinates, employees, employers, or children. Realize that they make a choice to stay with you–consciously and continuously; treasure it and appreciate their decision at all cost. Talk respectfully. Show more compassion. Forgive whenever you can. Apologize. Favor their opinions. Treat them well. Remind yourself of this every chance you have, and you will love them more–more freely and fiercely.
There is no fixed price in love, so we might as well try our best and give them reasons to stay. And the rest, is up to them.