This I Believe

Margaret - Franklin, Kentucky
Entered on November 27, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: love

I was playing with a Magic 8 Ball today – otherwise known as the most reliable predictor of events to come, or…not.

I had a friend tell me recently that you can choose who you love. What does the Magic 8 Ball think? Okay, I didn’t actually ask his almighty roundness that one, but the Magic Margaret thinks ‘NO’. Seriously, wouldn’t that mean that there is rational thought involved in love? I just don’t think that’s part of the equation. Rationalization, yes; rational thought, no. I have been ‘toying’ with this idea for the last week, and I still don’t think we actually get to choose the people for whom we feel love. I think we can choose the people we ‘like’ and we can choose our friends, but true feelings of love are not ‘chosen’.

Here is part of the basis for this decision. Have you ever known someone you knew should be your perfect match, but you just did not have that romantic-love feeling for them? I have, and I’ll bet many of you have as well. Have you ever continued to love someone after they continually broke your heart? I have done this, too, even though I knew it was stupid.

How then, when confronted with these two very different but at the same time, very similar situations can anyone claim that we choose those whom we love? I don’t consider myself a masochist (at least not in most things), but if I am in fact making these ‘choices’, then I am hurting myself over and over again in quite the masochistic fashion. My answer to this is not simple, but here it is: we are all born with the ability to love, but we are not blessed with the ability to choose in what direction that love may take us. We can fight the inevitability of the situation, but in most instances, we will only end up hurting worse by denying our instincts and our basic nature. Real happiness can only be achieved by finding the right fit in a partner who can bridge the gap between wanting to love and being able to love.

As much as we like to think we are manning the rudder on the various aspects of our lives (such as love), the longer I live, the more I think we are adrift, tossed about at the whim of the sea; our answers in life no more clear or absolute than those blue-white letters seen through the window of the Magic 8 Ball.