The myth ends when the fact begins. This new equation, romance is NOT equal to Love wakes us to sane realities of romance. The first reality is that Love is neither about a perfect person nor a perfect relationship. This statement returns power to well-known cliché, there is no such thing perfect. This is true, at least in the world where ideals are used as a yardstick for being worthy of Love.
Romance tricks us to see the other as perfect as we see them. Thus, it validates the concept that Love is blind. We are blinded by the fact that what makes the lover or the beloved perfect is not because we perceive them so, but because they are perfect of being who they are. Romance helps us to see the best in the other, while Love makes us see both their best and their worst. The former is an easier reaction, but the latter is a challenging response. Being with the other always creates a relationship, and our blindness to perfection extends to that dynamics. Myths blind us, but our true sight is being restored as we find that the state of perfection of anything in our wordly dimension is nothing but represents an elusive, unmoving picture of the changing reality.
Reality changes, and so is Love, not as an inconsistent truth but a continuous process. Love prompts us to see our changes manifesting in our differences and growth that push our inner and outer transformations. However, romance may still keep us in a certain plane of fixations and illusions of being perfect in terms of personality and circumstances. It will also influence how we treat the other and continue to scrutinize them with our personal gauge of who is worthy to Love and be Loved. Change is real, and every person changes in many ways. A baby once, the person we see in the mirror might have the same name and identity, but his or her existence is a flowing cascade of inner and outer physical and psychological changes. This is Love’s capacity to outgrow what is unnecessary, and to learn to create anew.
Our views of perfection is romantic in nature. It is only a small drop in Love’s oceanic potential.
Love perceived as suffering is the easiest resort for many people who want to keep romantic partners and their relationship with them in a predictable universe, yet still unable to keep pace with the changes that shape their thoughts and feelings. Change itself naturally induces pain, and we cannot escape this fact. However, suffering incurs a more powerful impact in the lives of those who resist the process of change. Changes occur in personal and petty differences, in the forces of time and worldviews that govern our lives, and in the changes of our personal perceptions and insights. The ideal of romantic perfection stays in the illusions of fixation that the partner would stay the same as an ideal person or the relationship would always be smooth sailing. But Love behaves in natural cycles. There are ups and downs of human relationships. People change. Things change. Without responding to this process, we are doomed to a miserable disenchantment .
Consequently, the impact of disenchantment causes many of us to misperceive Love as a hurting event with painful outcomes. We often say we don’t have time to Love because we don’t want anymore to repeat all the blunders and miseries of our past hurts. Equating Love with romance is a total misperception. Many people reject Love, but in truth they are rejecting romance. Our views of perfection is romantic in nature. It is only a small drop in Love’s oceanic potential. Even if we misperceive romantic perfections, it is always a prelude to see how Love is indescribably perfect. Falling in Love with someone as a romantic kickoff is a jumpstart of seeing our perfect beingness through the other. The other is merely a mirror of who we are and whatever complete and incomplete that makes us perfect.
Romance is always an imperfect picture of Love’s grand perfection. It is always universal to fall and be madly in love with someone, as many anthropological studies have shown (see Helen Fisher, Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love). It does not matter if we are all different in age, culture, religion, race, education, and job. Romance remains a collective force for us to desire our union with the other. It will still remain as a pandemic illusion of Love, nonetheless. But our greater capacity to discern their difference will shape the future cultural phenomenon of Romance.
Facts between romance and Love show us their realities and they bridge the gaps towards the truth of Love. Each fact is a tip of the iceberg, and we have to see what is beneath. In the next article, we will discuss the truth between Love and romance, which is the result of the overlap between myths and facts.
Beyond Romance Workshop Weekend Series on Aug 27/28, September 3/4 and 10/11, 2011. For more info, visit this Facebook page