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The Dark Side of Love

Updated: Jun 9, 2021

I spent a portion of the night reading Dostoevksy and I came across a couple lines that stuck in my head. And while I was thinking about those quotes, I was also reminded of something my friend told me that all have some connection with love. The first quote:

“Learning to love is hard and we pay dearly for it. It takes hard work and a long apprenticeship, for it is not just for a moment that we must learn to love, but forever.”

The second quote:

“To love is to suffer and there can be no love otherwise.”

You may be catching onto a theme… Anyways, the third quote I read is “On our earth we can only love with suffering and through suffering.”

And then I was reminded of what my friend Richard shared about what he’s learned so far in his marraige. He shared that “Love in a mirror, I see in my wife how I truly am. Not just my good parts but also my terrible and disgusting parts. And through the terrible parts of myself I see how I hurt her. I hate that. But then I also see how she takes it on and still chooses to love me in spite of the worst parts of myself.”

So I started to think about the Dark Side of Love. We spend so much time on the beauty, the mystery, and the gift of love. But we don’t spend any time on the Dark Side- the pain it endures, the brokenness it encounters, and the suffering it requires. I know Richard loves his wife more than anything, yet through his own brokenness he still causes his wife pain, and how that also causes pain within himself. And what resonates in all of this is that after we encounter the pain, brokenness, and suffering, there is this incredible magnetic force that draws us nearer to the other. It’s when Richard sees how he hurt his wife, and when she endures that pain, and when he feels the pain he caused, then sees how she’s still standing next to him when the dust settles- he’s compelled to draw himself nearer to her.

And she to him. His wife takes on the bold task of choosing to commit herself to him in spite of his arrogance, selfishness, and pride. She commits to him even though she is hurt, and in pain. Love suffers long, and the claim that she truly loves him is proven in her devotion to this man who is imperfect and will by his brokenness, hurt her. But where the canyons of division are created, the mysterious act of a selfless love miraculously fills the void allowing us walk ever closer to one another. This is the Dark Side of Love.

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