Friday, May 01, 2009

Cemetery Reflections: Desire vs. Passionate Love


                          Cemetery Reflections:
                                     ~~Time is a limited currency. Spend it well.

Today's Thought: What is the difference between desire and passionate love?

Perhaps, passionate love for another exists when we grant that person the ability to wound us. Vulnerability to wound means that another person matters. Receiving his or her approval unleashes a rush of happiness, and rejection burns with pain.

Wounds can only happen when we need. When we dare to lay that power in another's hands. Desire, however, is one-sided. We want, but we don't need. A desire denied can disappoint, or even sting. But no wound is sliced in. We just move on to the next desire. There is no need to linger.

What is the lesson? Don't be afraid to expose yourself to wounds. And if you're with someone who cannot harm you, perhaps some vital connection has been lost. Retrace your steps and find where the emotions went astray.

Love requires other people to really matter.

19 comments:

Linda S. Socha said...

The photo is hauntingly emotionally griping.....The thoughts about desire and passion are equally so.

I wonder , of course, the circle of thoughts and experiences that brought these feelings and insights in alignment to your conclusion
I so like the way you write . Thanks for this post
Linda

Aniket said...

Okay these are my thoughts:

If its love one can not just retrace the steps. The wound would undoubtedly be there and heart would linger for sometime.

We give someone the power to hurt us and it can of course back fire. But that's the gamble we have to take. A desire can never be compared to the rush that love gives you.

Aggie said...

Great truth here ... but we humans also create so many shades of grey in between.

the walking man said...

I must not be passionate anymore...no human is given power over me.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

The person we love passionately is the one person who can hurt us so profoundly - even destroy us. It's a gamble, isn't it? We trust it will never happen...but, it does. The question is - will true love and the desire to be with this person be enough to sustain the relationship?

True... if you can't be hurt emotionally by someone - do you really love them in the first place. In other words , you just don't care what they do, or say...it matters not.

I would rather love deep and passionately and take the chance of being hurt. More thoughts later...

Aine said...

This is why secure attachment as an infant/child is such a gift. We learn from a mother's love that we can be vulnerable and safe.

Everyone needs to have at least one such attachment in their life. Someone before whom they can stand completely naked and feel safe. It is the only way to not feel alone.

Very nice distillation of the difference between love and desire, Jason. It also brings to mind the necessity of opposites-- to love, we must also feel pain. Learning that that pain won't kill us is the key. As well as the trust that our loved one won't intentionally hurt us.

Nothing is better than feeling safe to be ourselves, faults and all, and to be loved for it. Except, perhaps, how good it feels to love someone else, faults and all....
:)

Sarah Hina said...

I believe in all that you've said. Desire is a straight line, while true, passionate love is a learning curve that extends over all the meaningful moments of time. It can be felt, fought against, embraced, and doubted, but I like to believe that it will endure well into that cemetery repose.

If both in the couple are not vulnerable with one another, then the wounds and joy will only be surface deep and fleeting. If they're open and trusting, then our dearest and most terrible sources of pain may be healed by the unequivocal acceptance and comfort that follows.

Wonderful post, Jason. :) I'm more prepared to spend my time well now.

Charles Gramlich said...

I suppose I tend to think of "Desire" as being a broader emotion.

Meghan said...

"Perhaps, passionate love for another exists when we grant that person the ability to wound us."

Love doesn't hurt. If you're with someone that hurts you, that's not love. Move on.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

And Meghan just made the point that I wanted to come back and make - love should not hurt at all - and if it does then get out of that relationship.

...and my other point was the one Aine made so eloquently - I can't say it better than she did...."It also brings to mind the necessity of opposites-- to love, we must also feel pain. Learning that that pain won't kill us is the key. As well as the trust that our loved one won't intentionally hurt us. (Thank you Aine)

jason evans said...

Linda, thank you for your warm thoughts! I like how each person brings their own experience to this question.

Aniket, it's the fact that another has the power to make an impact on us that I'm focusing on. Then, you have a two-way relationship. If you are not at risk, the relationship is one-dimensional and superficial.

Aggie, very true words.

Walking Man, we only have so much energy. We can build some pretty impressive defenses with that energy, but then the fruits of our labor are defenses.

Kaye, True... if you can't be hurt emotionally by someone - do you really love them in the first place. In other words , you just don't care what they do, or say...it matters not. That really captured the essense of my thoughts. Thank you!!

Aine, the pain won't kill us. You really nailed the ultimate point. Pain sucks, but it won't kill us. If you try hard enough, you can pretty much assure that you will never feel pain, but that will be your legacy. A life of avoiding pain.

Sarah, it can be felt, fought against, embraced, and doubted, but I like to believe that it will endure. Yes, it's that dynamic, that loss of control, that inspiration that fuels the wonders. I hope I never stop learning.

Charles, it can capture more and reach wider, because it's cheaper to produce.

Kaye and Meghan, I have to disagree. There are only two ways not to ever be hurt from love. First, if the other person never really matters (my main point), or second, if they do matter, but nothing ever happens to wound you. In the first, I join with Kaye in believing that love never really existed in the first place. In the second, you demand a superhuman standard. Each person brings their own needs and fears and failings. Those things in another person may hurt you. Even deeply. But as Aine made the point, it won't kill you to hurt. You can reach out and learn in response rather than move on, because the flawed reality of people means that if you don't stomach some pain, then you'll do a lot of moving on in a lifetime.

If, however, you mean that love should not be a continuous source of pain, I agree. There is clearly a line when harming becomes one-sided, intentional, reckless, using, or selfish. In those circumstances, I agree, move on.

Karen said...

I believe that true love has the ability to wound, whereas desire has only a temporary sting that can be assuaged by the substitution of another.
I'm reminded of these lines from Shakespeare's Sonnet CXVI:

"Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;"

Love doesn't "bend with the remover to remove" --just because someone takes his love away -- hurt as it may. True love doesn't end.

Even in true, passionate love, there are tempests. Life gives us tempests. Passionate, true love weathers those storms, even as we feel the sting.

jason evans said...

Karen, beautiful, beautiful words. :) I'm with you. It's how we weather the tempests and value the greatness that the tempests cannot touch, unless we allow them to.

Karen said...

One more thought about the Shakespeare, Jason. He specified that this applied to the "marriage of true minds." True love - not infaturation or desire.

the walking man said...

Jason in my world I have learned that no defenses is the best wall...if I am assaulted on any level of my being I let it wash over me and as I am able I move on. That is why no person can have authority over me, I care for little.

Little Girl Lost said...

jason,
desire, when denied, can bruise your ego. love is what can destroy you. its so much more dangerous and potent, so much more permanent...
thanks for the lovely lines. they made me think for a long time.

jason evans said...

Karen, in a way, he's pointing out the nature of the distinction with his words.

Walking Man, that sounds like a very calm approach. And a healthy one.

Little Girl Lost, yes, with the danger comes great reward. :)

Margaret said...

Desire is something that comes and goes. It affects us only for the short period it's there.
Passionate love can leave deep wounds but these wounds only intensify the relationship.
How can we appreciate pure happiness without experiencing pain?
It's only after tasting salt that we come to know just how sweet sugar is!

SzélsőFa said...

Great distinction.
One has to look for the wounds as a sign of true connection, but there is a thing as too many of them. It's a fine balance, I suppose.
Just my quick minden two cents, Jason. Great thoughts.