I recall a time not so long ago when I was “totally in love” with this young lady to the point it was agonising. It consumed me and I would muse about her for great periods of time — not many days would go by when I didn’t invest significant time thinking about her, both subconsciously and consciously, I’m sure. It was distracting and paralysing in retrospect. I’m sure everyone around me could see, but I was blind to it — or at least I chose to be blind to it. The power of this ‘love’ was totally captivating and entrancing.
Yet, much later (two years to the day) I learned — or suddenly discovered — I wasn’t so much in love, more totally infatuated — in love with the thought of being in love; the perception of what that might look like; and foolish to that end, as the dictionary meaning puts it: in·fat·u·a·tion 1 : to cause to be foolish : deprive of sound judgment; 2 : to inspire with a foolish or extravagant love or admiration. Such a ‘love’ is clearly fanciful, not real, and therefore foolish. But is seems real.
I’m reminded of this having recently re-visited “Love Actually,” the movie. It is such a good motion picture in that it showcases just some of the myriad of emotions that couple with love. The host of different manifestations of love in the movie range from the betrayal, to closeted love, to lived-out sexual fantasy of Colin, to ‘real life’ love stories in the formation of a relationship between the British Prime Minister (played by Hugh Grant) and his very junior assistant, Natalie, played by Martine McCutcheon, and also between Colin Firth’s character, Jamie, and Aurelia, played by Lucia Moniz.
According to the film Love Actually, there’s a blend of many forms of love: love in politics (mentioned above); love as a second language — a wonderful comedy of errors that ends up in marriage; love at work — that doesn’t work out; love that lasts a lifetime — and is never expected to end in a cheap ‘fling’; love is elementary — and painfully so, when you lose your life partner; love is unspoken — that ‘closeted’ love of infatuation; and, love that simply ‘rocks on’ in words sung by Billy Mack (Bill Nighy).
The title quote: comes from Liam Neeson’s character’s step son’s (Sam) horribly awkward emotional turn; not so much of losing his mother — the predicted reaction, but of “being in love” with a twelve year old siren from school. And he tries everything to force his way into her heart.
And so it is for us when we find ourselves in the tormenting reality of a ‘world central to one person.’ It seems each of us goes through infatuation at least once. We are stung and at times cruelly — had we been better to be prepared to guard our thinking and our heart? No doubt really.
There is a Proverb that speaks powerfully to this errant issue of emotion: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (4:23) It may have a plethora more meaning but it stands on this at least. We must be careful with our mind. We can be so easily deceived; then we’re but a step from the enemy force invading our hearts.
Yet, life also goes on in the midst of all this.
Copyright © 2008, S.J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.