Thought of the Day August 18, 2016

By 9:33 AM

"Human relationships easily become possessive. Our hearts so much desire to be loved that we are inclined to cling to the person who offers us love, affection, friendship, care, or support. Once we have seen or felt a hint of love, we want more of it. That explains why lovers so often bicker with each other. Lovers' quarrels are quarrels between people who want more of each other than they are able or willing to give. It is very hard for love not to become possessive because our hearts look for perfect love and no human being is capable of that. Only God can offer perfect love. Therefore, the art of loving includes the art of giving one another space. When we invade one another's space and do not allow the other to be his or her own free person, we cause great suffering in our relationships. But when we give another space to move and share our gifts, true intimacy becomes possible." (Henri Nouwen) True love is always other-focused. Possessive love is self-focused. True love is expressed with arms outstretched to the other in a giving gesture. Possessive love is expressed with arms outstretched to the other to pull the other to self. The former frees the other to respond; the latter forces the other to resist. When a butterfly lands in our hand, we can either free it to stay or we can quickly close our hand to keep the butterfly for self. In the latter response, we will either crushed the butterfly or scare it away.

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