Saturday column: Is it possible to maintain love for another person when you suffer yourself

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Love always looks beautiful. Beautiful people, smart, even if not perfect, have a great time with each other. Go on beautiful dates to beautiful places. And I'm not even talking now about some kind of sterile, licked world of social networks or popular cinema. And about how we imagine it often.

Love, as an image, is aesthetic, full of joy and beauty. As young people, we imagine love as a continuous experience of happiness. We say “love,” we close our eyes and squint, as if from the sun. Gaining experience, we no longer see everything as perfect and begin to fear and shun. But we shun dislike. Death of feelings and loss of intimacy. Love, however, retains a monopoly on images with the “+” sign. We rarely imagine love combined with abomination, fear, or disgust. Love in a situation of war, be it around or inside us.

My experience has shown that in situations where I go deeply into minus, my love does not stand, or as if freezes for a while. As if the pain is really great, then it takes up the whole place, leaving nothing for tenderness. Or as if this “beautiful” nature of love is simply not compatible with the ugliness of mental wounds.

When the Titanic appeared on the screens, I was 9 years old, but even then I was a little maximalist, and in this impulse I did not like the film. The only scene that melted the icy heart of the 3-claws: the scene with an elderly couple who decided to meet death, hugging together, lying on the bed while the water flooded their cabin. Old, ugly, non-main characters. But such real, lively and touching.

Most of all, most sharply I felt love when it was ugly, when it sprouted from a flower from what is considered to be vile, not aesthetic. When you are disfigured by events, when you are sick, when you have lost strength and charm. When suddenly he became a little more human than ever: weak, mortal, naked, fragile, bodily, earthly, with smells, sounds, needs and moods that are customary to hide. Then there is a chance to experience love, in a completely different way than in our fantasies, but in a way we never dreamed of.

I always tried to hide, to move beyond the framework of the relationship everything that was not beautiful, harmonious, controlled. When something like this happened, I drew a wall between this and my love in order to preserve it. Although that was what killed her. I closed the door tightly and there quietly fought for my horrors, and after that I came back, bringing in only my heroism, which, of course, is hard to reach, or wounds that are hard to understand if you don’t testify to the battle itself.

But one day, when I again felt the previous misfortune by smell, I took my partner's hand, opened the door as wide as I could (not too much, but already something) and asked me to come with me. He saw the whole picture, all those parts that are customary to hide. He did not jump into the typical scenario of attempts to be naive and perceive the situation with humor. My hateful scenario of maintaining the appearance of “normality” and the “bright side of life”. He reacted as I would like: without fear, but also without depreciation, with anger. And it was from this anger mixed with the acceptance of darkness that light could appear. It was through the ugliness with which life often turns to us that I saw for myself something new and valuable, something about love.

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