After my son Marcus told me I hated him when I told him he needed to stop playing video games this morning, I asked him if I loved him, what would I be doing differently.
He said I would be racing him and playing soccer and games with him.
I get it.
Love lives in a world of full agreement, or a lack of dwelling on the disconnect of disagreement.
When we’re young, before the disappointment of human beings disagreeing with our idea of Eden, our hearts don’t even fathom the possibility of disagreement with our own consciousness. It comes as a shock and HURTS. It feels like love is gone when we encounter disagreement. I still remember feeling like that when I was his age.
The thing is that this is a grave and understandable error and the correction of this error, that disagreement threatens love, is our life’s opportunity. Not just to get it intellectually, but to transcend through it. To really get it. This is our cross to bear, to do the work to return to love, as Marianne Williamson puts it.
Marcus is at the beginning. The unfortunate period where the disagreement rocks us, where it informs our personalities and unconscious beliefs about life. I empathize with him deeply.
And he’s getting the return, too. When he asked me to pick him up in my arms at drop off and gave me 17 kisses and told me he knows I love him, he took courageous action. He inspired me.
The idea that disagreement threatens love (threatens us, really, as we are made of love) – from loved ones dying too soon to not getting the job to not feeling heard to being rejected romantically or even abused – is false, but it hurts.
Love is always here, waiting for you. Getting back to it is the work of our lives. Be courageous.