Friday, July 02, 2004

real life, true love

One of my young religious staff members, who has a new girlfriend, asked me if I believed in True Love, if I subscribed to the notion that for each person there was "The One".

It's a good thing we were in a cab and stuck in traffic, because my resulting answer stretched into a rather long discourse on the poisonous nature of that notion.

I believe in choice, not predestination. I refuse to think that everything in my life, from the choice of briefs to wear in the morning to my lifemate, is predetermined. If this is true, then everything is pointless and we spin like helpless pinwheels in the face of God's vagaries. I prefer to think that God, knowing me best, has in mind a number of prospects but leaves the final choice to me. The question of free will in a religious context is a tricky thing, because if indeed everything that is chosen is willed by God, then every action, including murder and terrorism is willed by God to happen, and no amount of faith or prayer or adherence to canon can change things. I believe that God gifted us with free will, and that covers all our conceivable choices - which includes whether to love and honor Him or not. We are not automata.

We choose the ones we choose to love (that's two choices there). And for me, the one I choose to love is my true love.

The funny thing is that people who believe in "The One" seem to think that "The One" will be their age, race, cultural background, similar socio-economic status, also of the same faith, and many other preconditions. They don't want to consider that "The One" could be older, younger, same sex, continents away, diseased or dead (I guess if "The One" is dead, then the 1st runner-up becomes "The One", like Miss Universe). Because "The One" is perfect...for them. God will not move in mysterious ways for them.

The silly thing about True Love is this: what if you're married with kids with some you think is your True Love, then suddenly, someone else comes along and you are struck by the unyielding conviction that this new person is the "The One"?

And there's more. A lot more. The pressure on your spouse (Let's call him/her "The One") to live up to your unearthly expectations are unfair and impossible. The notion of True Love does not prevent the disolution of marriage vows.

Unshaven Real Life will always intrude on effete True Love, whip out his dick and fuck TL up the ass, until TL howls "Yes, yes, fuck me, RL! You da man!".

Far better to love and live your life with the one whom you've chosen to love, taking each day as both blessing and challenge, and enjoy the set of moments that you share. Leave the speculation on the nature of love to those who do not have it, and instead exchange a knowing glance with your beloved, dim the lights and extend your vocabulary of passion; or play with your child, fix the house, grocer, go to mass or share a ciggie.

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