20 Years and Counting
My husband and I were married 20 years ago today. Happy Anniversary, honey! In honor of our anniversary I thought I’d write a post about love. Looking for inspiration, I reread the passage that my sister read in English and Angel’s brother read in Spanish at our wedding. It’s better than anything I could write, so I’ll just share it with you.
From Erich Fromm’s The Art of Loving:
“Love is an activity, not a passive affect. Love is primarily giving, not receiving. The most important sphere of giving, however, is not that of material things, but lies in the specifically human realm. The person who loves gives of himself, of the most precious he has, he gives of his life. In thus giving of his life, he enriches the other person. Love is a power which produces love.
Beyond the element of giving, the art of loving always implies four basic elements. These are care, responsibility, respect, and knowledge.
Love is care, the active concern for the life and the growth of that which we love. Care implies another aspect of love: that of responsibility. Responsibility is one person’s response to the needs, expressed or unexpressed, of another person. But responsibility could easily deteriorate into domination and possessiveness, were it not for a third component of love, respect. Respect is not fear and awe, but wanting the loved person to grow and unfold for his own sake, and his own ways, and not for the purpose of serving oneself. Finally, to respect a person would not be possible without knowing that person; care and responsibility would be blind if they were not guided by knowledge.”
It’s easy to tell someone you love them. It takes a lot more work to show someone you love them. Love is hard, but the joy it can bring makes it worth the effort. It is the best investment I have ever made!