Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Choice of Love

I recently watched a movie entitled "Paris, Je T'aime" (Paris, I love
you) in which 20 different directors directed 20 short films based in Paris and all dealing with the central theme of love, in all of its guises. I found it an interesting movie cinematographically and began to have fun as the movie progressed trying to discover what aspect of love each director was attempting to depict.

I was often moved by what turned out to be very intimate snapshots of people's lives that left me feeling what the directors were attempting to convey. During one particular story I was struck by an aspect of love that often does not get mentioned in popular media or entertainment; that of love as a choice. In the short film a man who has decided to end his marriage to his wife in favor of another discovers that his wife is terminally ill. On the spot he changes his mind, breaks up with the mistress, and dedicates himself to caring for, and loving his wife. In doing so he transforms himself from a man pretending to be in love to a man in love and it alters him forever.

This story depicted well for me that aspect of love that is a choice; that aspect that concerns open-eyed acceptance of our partner, not the blind infatuation that popular culture would have us believe is love. This aspect of love derives itself from something much deeper and more powerful than romantic love, but it appears to lack the bells and whistles of its counterpart.

This aspect of love also brings to mind the power of acting “as if.” In acting “as if” he were in love, he managed to fall in love. It’s a strong statement. If we wake up in the morning and treat others in our lives “as if” we care about them, we can transform ourselves into actually caring. There is something in pretending that touches the actual emotions inside each of us and helps its expression.

We are each challenged in our personal relationships to maintain good feelings toward others. Some people are easy to have these feelings toward; others may not be, but the relationships may be important just the same. Perhaps sometimes we can attempt to behave “as if” for a time and see if something changes.

As always, I appreciate any comments or feedback and hope you have found this blog post helpful and meaningful. Please also visit my website at

My best,

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