“Don’t discard me, just because you think I mean you harm.
These cuts I have, they need love to help them heal.”
— Elton John
“We all want the same thing,” a friend recently said to me.
The two of us had been engaged in a conversation about the conflicts that keep people apart, long after anyone could remember what sparked them in the first place.
Indeed, I agreed, we all want the same thing: To be loved.
Conflicts arise when our ego gets in the way and refuses to let love in. Like a toddler throwing a tantrum, it needs a time out. But first it has to exhaust itself into realizing that …
… “It’s all bullshit,” as my friend said in her cut-to-the-chase kind of way.
That made me smile as I remembered something stored in the “Useless Information I Might Someday Use” folder in my brain:
Manure generates heat as it decomposes, and it’s possible for it to ignite spontaneously if stored in a massive pile.
And so, the greater the anger that keeps the conflict alive, the bigger the pile of shit that started it.
If you’re truly mad enough to keep the conflict going, the deeper into that pile you will fall.
How long are you going to let your ego deny your soul the love it craves? How much time are you going to waste? How many memories are you going to miss making, just because you think someone has done you harm? Or worse, how long are you going to wait for the other person to come around before you make the first move toward reconciliation? Or the second? Or the third?
“But I’ve already tried and been refused,” you argue.
When do you stop trying?’
I love the New Testament parable of the Persistent Friend (Luke 11:5-13) because it’s so fitting in this situation.
“Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his boldness he will rise and give him whatever he needs.”
When you get to the end of your life will you regret not having tried just one more time? What have you got to lose that you haven’t already lost? Think of what you have to gain if you try again.
The cuts in your soul can only be healed by love. But you have to expose those cuts in order for love to come in. That goes both for you and for the person who you think has done you harm.
In the words of Saint Thomas Aquinas: “To live in harmony we need to know we are all madly in love with the same God.”
In other words, we all want the same thing.
So let’s cut the crap and embrace the magnificent feeling of falling in love, instead of allowing fear to push it aside.