“The greatest lie ever told about love is that it sets you free.” –Zadie Smith
I had to think about this. We have all heard it at some point in our lives, love and truth are the great freedom makers. What does Zadie mean? Am I doomed? I love hard, and I thought that I was doing it right.
I got it. It hit me in the back of my head and then in the front. I understood. Love does not in fact set you free. It captures you in a way that nothing else, not even truth will. Love will always be the greatest denominator, and no matter how you try you will not find any commonality for it.
Love tells us who we are and it holds us there. We are free to change, but it does not love that sets us free, it is, in fact, the peace that should accompany it. I love my children unconditionally, but it is not a freeing love for me. I still have all the hang-ups that a mother has for her children. I love my husband unconditionally and because I do I am not free. I am again captured in what that means. I am held there because to be free in it means that my heart and my mind have become disentangled in the perplexing action of what it really means to love. It is a verb after all. Action. Change. Belief. Acceptance.
Love can be a truth, and it can be a lie. Love can be freighting, and that makes it a thief and a robber. Love can be all telling, and that makes it dangerous because we all want to hold tight to our secrets. Love can also be a secret, but when it is held too long or too tight, we lose in it what it is really supposed to mean.
Love can even be a lie. I remember being in church and I heard the preacher say that we must love one another. Ok. I heard that before it resonated with me. What resonated the most was what the First Lady said later that evening. We were talking, and I asked her if it was ever hard for her to love all the people in the church. We come with flaws and all sorts of things that might not be pleasing to her spirit. I was never the same after the answer she gave me. “Baby, that is not the way that I take that statement. I can love to be away from someone or something. I am not bound by the traditional understanding of anything anymore. IF you take one thing away from me, take the understanding that you have to look in all directions for your blessing and you should never lean to your own understanding.” BOOM! My life was forever changed.
Loving someone and being in love with them is different. Neither of them will set you free. You must use all your mental powers for that illusion. It is sort of like free will. Is it really free? Are we really willing? Things that make you go DDDDDAAAANNNNNGGGG!
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