Many believe that love heals all. But what sort of love? Whose love?
Romance is a blush of blossoms with instant power that must mature or perish. What may be called married love is laced with the arguments and irritations that inevitably accompany two or more personalities living together in close quarters, and may not survive changes in those personalities over time or immaturity never outgrown. Religion promotes a vague concept of the love of the deity, but most view that on an intellectual rather than visceral or spiritual level.
Moreover, so many of us have grown up in families devoid of the kind of caring that instills a sense of being loved and appreciated. Oh, our parents or guardians may attend to the duties of physical care and, perhaps, mental stimulation. But adults repeat the relationships they knew as children, and generation after generation may treat offspring as possessions, obligation, or even nuisance rather than as a gift to treasure. And too many live vicariously through their children, forcing them into pursuits that the parents would have enjoyed in their youth and overlooking the true aptitudes and desires of the younger generation.
Thus, whole bloodlines can carry a profound sense of being unloved and unlovable. I suspect that is the enduring appeal of the Romance genre, for many characters in these tales reflect that kind of loveless upbringing and resulting low self-esteem, finally redeemed by a hero or heroine who fills that void.
In real life, I have personally found that learning to love oneself, perceived faults and all, is the only true path to healing. And meditations that send loving thoughts to past, present, and future generations are said to heal whole bloodlines.
Have you experienced love in your childhood? Do you feel the need to heal a family long bereft of caring?
[Photo courtesy of Paul Garcia of Unsplash.]