Love without sacrifice is like an ocean without water
Anyone who has lost someone they love knows the excruciating pain that comes along with that loss. Anyone who is in a successful long-term relationship knows the amount of compromise it takes to keep that relationship happy and functional. Anyone who has children knows of the thankless work and relentless devotion necessary to be a good parent. Anyone who has ever loved knows that true love requires sacrifice.
I am not speaking of sacrificing our self-respect or integrity to hold onto someone we love. That would be a toxic love, which is a warped version of real love. The sacrifice I am referring to is that which tears down blocks and breaks through barriers. It strips us of ego and demands that we stand bravely in the moment and bring forth the best parts of ourselves.
When we truly love another, we are willing to give anything to ensure that our loved one is safe. This love is pure and emits itself from the deepest reaches of the soul. This love is unconditional and is not a mere emotion, but a force of nature. It is a phenomenom of the human spirit that is unparalleled. It is a mother lifting a car to save her child. It is a husband who jumps in front of a bullet to shield his wife from harm. It is the parents who work overtime to feed their children. It is the young girl who stands in front of the bully who threatened her sibling.
There is no love without surrender. There is no love without understanding. There is no love without pain. There is no love without giving. There is no love without listening. There is no love without caring. There is no love without the willingness and ability to sacrifice all of these things and more. Love without sacrifice is like an ocean without water.
True love is not a thought nor a feeling, but an undeniable desire to nurture and polish the hearts of those we love so they may shine their brightest. True love does not come without a struggle. True love urges us to let go of all that doesn’t serve us, so that we may be the purest versions of ourselves. The love that resides in our souls is the very same love that beats in the hearts of others. It is the same love that flows through the fabric of life and connects us all. We come from this love, we will return to this love, we are this love.
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Originally published on Medium.com