A friend had once fell in love with a guy and was married to him almost 30 years ago. She gave up most of her life for her husband. He probably promised her a good life and family. Until one day, she found out that he had an affair with another woman. It devastated her and completely ruined all her dreams of her husband fulfilling a lasting promise.
She asked me, Hindi ba pagmamahal iyon? (Wasn’t it Love?) Ibinigay ko ang lahat sa kanya! Nag-quit ako sa career ko para sa kanya! (I gave everything to him. I even gave up my career for him!) Her voice thundered with the pains and anger of past memory. But I told her that it was not Love. It was fear pretending to be Love. My answer puzzled her. But it was a beginning of her inquiry of what Love really is.
My friend’s story is a familiar one. Out there are thousands of women who were wounded of broken promises. Men promise them Love as a verbal investment. Women agree. But most men break their promises, unable to bridge the gap between their words and their actions. Most women end up disillusioned. And we see a growing number of separations and broken families. All because of a promise.
Was my friend blameful of her situation? Was her husband wrong? I dare say they were not blameful and they were not wrong. The Love between them was genuine and true, and Love is always true as it was. But fear is an all-time human tendency building up, separating us because of the illusion that we can possess or control our loved ones. My friend and her ex-husband forgot Love when they let fear dominate their decisions. Their symbolic promises and vows were broken. Yet Love remains whole.
Love promises us to rediscover that no one but ourselves can Love more deeply and sincerely.
The promise of Love is far different from our wordly promises. While our promises couldn’t catch up with our expectations, Love does a different job. In the event of broken promises, Love calls us to experience ourselves beyond how we expect others to rescue us from our inner despairs and devastations. Love promises us to rediscover that no one but ourselves can Love more deeply and sincerely. By fulfilling Love’s promise, we can see how Love demonstrates Itself through our innermost beings.
Beneath all the fear, obsessions, anger, devastation, frustration, and remorse, my friend rediscovered her presence: it is Love alive, eternally fulfilling Its promise in her life. All sort of past pains may still linger, but being aware that she is Love is a quantum leap towards her truth. No matter what, Love remains the same. It is the center from where all promises come from. This cuts her off from all expectations that one person can fill her void. She begins to see that there is nowhere Love comes from except from herself.
She expected her then-husband’s broken promise and ended up in failure. Both of them forgot Love, yet ironically they began to remember it in a renewed way. We cannot anymore follow their stories, yet Love fulfills its promise in them. In one way or another, they have come across with great wisdom that they couldn’t have found if not for their painful pasts. This is true to all situations, relationships, and encounters. This is the fulfillment of Love’s promise that can never be broken.