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must you give up everything in the name of love 2012For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.  Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth. – Kahlil Gibran

We’ve heard so many people warn us that we shouldn’t love like that, that we should reserve some love for ourselves just in case.  It seemed practical, but it certainly didn’t sound romantic.  If love is like that, what’s the use of it?  How could it be love? And so we ignored these things and we fell in love, and then our hearts got broken and we remembered everything they told us about.  Was it wrong to have given up everything in the name of love?

The answer is yes and no.

We’re not wrong to think that love should be all-consuming, and that we dare sacrifice everything for it.  It’s the people and things we gave our hearts to that’s wrong, because only God deserves such kind of love.

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ – Matthew 22:37-39

Our love for God should be first.  Our love for others, even our most special beloved, should only be second.  Why?  Because people are not perfect.  No matter how much we love others, we still fail sometimes, we still hurt those whom we love the most.  Expecting perfect things from imperfect people isn’t romantic, it’s foolish.

The reason we need to be guided first by our love for God is that God’s love should be able to fill us first.  If not, we crave for so much love that nobody on earth could realistically be able to give it to us.

Nobody could stay with us 24 hours in a day.   Even our partners would certainly have something else to do.  Nobody could enjoy the same things with us all the time.  We’d have different interests and different ways of spending our days.  We’d have different ways of expressing love, and of receiving it.  Most of all, nobody could fully read our hearts. Only God knows the deepest yearnings of our soul, and only He could fulfil them.

Giving up everything for imperfect people is actually not being able to give them the best you could possibly give them.  Will giving up our self respect help others?  Will giving up our conscience be a true sign of love?  The best that we could give others is the best of who we are, and who else knows how to achieve that but God?

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

-Kahlil Gibran

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366 Days of Compassion
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“The deepest wounds of the soul are healed only by compassion… People do not merely need to be clothed, they need to be embraced with love. A love that enters into their own fears and frailty, a love that suffers with them and stays with them through their darkest hour.”

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I will betroth you to me forever. Yes, I will betroth you to me in righteousness, in justice, in loving kindness, and in compassion. – Hosea 2