Take this and eat it…

The dog sighs, her eyes and freckled snout twitching as I type. Curled up beside me, Maggie the Wonderdog is lost in dreams that I can only imagine. What creatures is she pursuing across the green expanse of our lawn? What delicious treats await her triumphant return to the porch with a warm rabbit between her teeth? Sometimes I envy the carnal simplicity of a dog’s life. If only our own were so simple.

Or perhaps, our lives really are as simple as the nocturnal twitching of a beast longing to fulfill it’s instinctual lust for blood. I wouldn’t be the first person to suggest such a thing. To be completely honest though, I can’t accept an animalistic, or instinctual core to humanity for one reason alone. Love. Sorry Nietzsche.

No, I’m not talking about the flashy neon L-O-V-E that they spelled across the field at the Superbowl. I am talking about the irrational, painful, completely counter intuitive love that exists in the lives of every pair of lovers, and every parent in the world. Yes, I do mean EVERY, even the ones that choose to ignore the calling of it and indulge their selfishness.

There can be no rational explanation for love. No Darwinian principle would result in the survival of a genetic trait that led one to sacrifice their own well being for that of another, with no hope of reciprocity. And at it’s core, isn’t that the very definition of love? The willing loss of self for the benefit of another.

Love is such an enigma. How, and why were we created with such a urge. An urge that seems beyond all reason, as anyone that has ever been smitten with a love for another, or held an infant in their arms can attest. There is something beyond reason about love.

Oh if only the libertines were right! What fun life could be without any obligations, or sacrifices! Only pure nihilistic pleasure to indulge in day after day. Yet, that strikes me as the perfect description of hell. Maybe it’s the Catholic in me, or some sick self flagellating desire to deny my own fulfillment.

But I don’t think so.

No, even though I have wrestled with theology for almost 20 years now, I can’t help but to KNOW in my heart that the only way to achieve happiness is to give it away. This is a lesson that I forget on a daily basis, and one that I come back to time and time again.

Here is my life. Take it, it’s yours.

27 thoughts on “Take this and eat it…

  1. Ahhh, love. Puppy love, child love, and all the loves in-between (like chocolate). You are right. It’s hard to ignore. Especially when it calls your name (I may, or may not be talking about chocolate). 🙂

  2. Beautiful post, and so true. When I’m not freaking out of tests I’m usually worried about going through this world alone, even though I’m not. I’m blessed to be surrounded with a multitude of wonderful people in real life and on the interwebz and yet it’s not enough.

    But then there are those moments when Noel’s curled up on my left side and Biscuit is dreaming, her feet twitching as she huffs like an old percolator on my right, and life is really, really good.

    Also, I’m fully stocked in Nutella.

  3. But dogs have love too…….so, doesn’t that put us right back to square one? Have you ever seen a pair of goldne retrievers running through the sun in a field of flowers? Playing with one another?
    The only thing that truly parts man from dog is we can partake of the chocolate.

  4. Technically they only spelled out “L-O-\-E” at the super bowl. I know because all the lighting geeks at my party couldn’t shut up about it. Like that was so much worse than the singing…or lack thereof.

    • Kids can have that effect on a person. Which is good, because otherwise we’d strangle them long before they were old enough to move out of the house.

  5. “…the irrational, painful, completely counter intuitive love that exists in the lives of every pair of lovers.”

    Sounds almost mystical, rather than an instinctive pair bond that moves us to engage in sex and then raise the child to the age of reproduction.

  6. I think a parent’s love for their child is different from all other kinds of love. Selfless. No expectation for reciprocity. AND I will stop right here.

    Beautifully written and yes thank you for the reminder. 🙂

  7. I just got goosebumps, but not from the frigid temperature in my house. Those are thoughts well written. And all I can think of is the song “L-O-V-E” now. See what happens to deep thoughts in my mind?

  8. Sub,

    Raising my daughter was my retirement plan. Which is frightening now that I think about it. I’ve been retired for three years. I’m pretty much out of money … and she’s unemployed.

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