Shame always prevails.
If because of unreadiness we reject God’s love, we are bound to reject any and all conditional human love — self-love included. Tragically, in all of these cases, we end up rejecting another whole person. No one, especially our own self, is ever enough for another person.
Scroll to about the 10th paragraph that begins, “The idea of love…” It is the words of this book review’s author himself that I ‘love’ as an expression of why romantic love inevitably fails all of us. I’m recommending neither Shakespeare nor Freud here.
Here as bait are my favorite highlights (these are condensations absent formal quotation punctuation, so I hope my copyright violations are forgiven unprosecuted):
We’re inclined to think of love as the opposite of emptiness—a system of mutual favors, a kind of bonus to life, a surplus. Instead, we love because we lack. Emptiness can never be filled. None of us can ever be loved enough—by our parents, husbands or wives. Love can only be renewed, “I love you. I love you…” Each time, you admit a lack in yourself… it’s no wonder that shame and narcissism are so often part… It’s intrinsically shameful to need and need and need. It breeds anger and resentment.
Your love is genuine, but so are your perpetual feelings of emptiness and powerlessness. What’s most galling is the realization that the people whom you love are similarly empty. If this is love, then you can come to resent the people you love simply because you love them.
Perhaps illness and truth-telling are more closely allied than we might want to believe: The [psycho]analyst confirms the truth only in order to finally get beyond it. “Yes, you’re a flawed human being—now what?” Diagnosing Hamlet: “He cannot love.” To that, respond, “And you can?”
Love might be a kind of illusion, but it’s a mutual one. All humans need too much. At least it is a flaw that we share. But too ashamed to share, Hamlet rejects not just love, but all passions.
Love is an admission of the power of powerlessness.
Neil D. 2020-01-13