into your radiance

In conversations, love on March 21, 2006 by carinasuyin

One morning when Atah was driving me to school, I asked him “Atah, what is love?”. Being the cool dad that he was (and still is), he answered matter-of-factly without taking his eyes off the road,

“Love… is lots of voluntary effort. L.O.V.E. Lots of voluntary effort lah.”
“That’s all? Love explains itself?”
“Yeah. Simple. When you love someone, it’s a commitment to volunteer. You volunteer to make that person happy, to keep that person from harm, to have that person’s best interests at heart, to share dreams or build a life together… That’s why love is different from like. Understand ah?”
“Hmmm… I think so.”

Lots of voluntary effort. I’ve never fully understood that until I fell in love. I remembered that definition of love and embraced it earnestly. Everything happened out of joyful willingness and a self-determined desire to make that special person happy, nothing was obligatory nor done out of expectation. It felt effortless to love because love was voluntary. Unconditional because you didn’t have expectations in return for what you gave. Just as well, came the realisation of how imperfect and selfish is the love of mere mortals once everything went wrong when you needed to justify the efforts and demand not to be taken for granted. To finally question if the love was worth the effort sounded the death knell for the relationship. Thus idealistic me learnt (albeit the hard and painful way) that voluntary efforts need to come from both sides. Just as much as you can’t tepuk sebelah tangan, when in a relationship, love needs to be reciprocal for we are just ordinary people.

Which is why when Fr. Richards said “Like is a decision of feelings but love is a decision of the will.”, I was automatically transported back into Atah’s car, on the way to school, reliving that very important lesson.

Love is a decision of the will, indeed.
A choice and a commitment to volunteer.
For His greatest commandment is on Love. How easy we forget.


4 Responses to “into your radiance”

  1. Hie! Don’t think you remember me, but kinda have this HUGE respect for you when you were the LCP – was a 1st year junior then.

    Find this post really meaningful and love your writing – well, just to let you know!


  2. hi alicia! thanks 🙂

  3. hhmmmmm… lots of voluntary effort. indeed. i feel it. can i link my post to this entry of yours?

  4. sure thing, Chi!

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