Bigger Picture

I’m increasingly convinced that you cannot love one person and despise another.  You cannot love your children and despise their father. You cannot love your friends and despise your enemies. You cannot love a person and despise their actions, as if they’re somehow distinct from each other.

“What about Hitler?” is always the response, as if that settles things. It doesn’t. We all have Hitlers in our lives. We’re likely someone else’s. We all have someone we think the world would largely be better without.

The Hitler question is entirely beside the point that love is who you are, not what someone else earns from you, like a paycheck. Extending “love” because someone agrees with you, pleases you, obeys you, or reflects well on you isn’t love at all. It’s selfishness with a makeover.

We learn to disguise our lack of love. We wear specially-fitted masks. Those people in our lives who rub us the wrong way reveal who we really are, and the masks come off very quickly. It’s a gift and an opportunity to know ourselves and to learn to love more deeply and genuinely.

In my experience, those who cling to grudges–even justifiable ones–end up deeply hurting those they claim to love or who love them. Hate cannot be contained. Thankfully, love can’t either.

Love is identity. Love is perspective. Love is understanding. Love is all-consuming. Love is hard. Love sees the bigger picture because love is the bigger picture. Love is the dividing line between life and death. Love is amazing.

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