The two strongest emotions a human can feel are love and fear. Fear is potent that it can affect every aspect of our lives. We can spend each day in perpetual fear and not even realise it. Fear makes us do callous, uncaring actions that hurt those around us and all because we are scared for one reason or another.
The greatest weapon against fear is hope and hope is born out of love. To have hope, you must have love. In recent years, I have discovered the power of love I have until recently been blind to and out of that love, I have found hope for life.
When I was growing up, I heard much about love. The love of family. Love of parents. Love of the female partner I would eventually meet. And obviously the Love of God. Truth to be told the love I have experienced in recent years was never spoken of to me.
The Love of God is deadly
The love of God was often mentioned in my Catholic background and surrounding culture. I didn’t feel it. I felt the oppression of God and the prejudice of those who followed his religions. It pushed me to the edge with me almost stepping off the roof of Preston bus station.
Today, friends and others try to persuade me to believe in God again and accept his love and mercy. They seem to think that because I don’t see the whole love of God aspect their way, then I haven’t seen it or heard it correctly. And yet none of them understand the hell that mindset placed me in and led me to consider suicide.
That fact that I studied the Bible twice over, attended Catholic institution for almost 23 years and asked thousands of questions about the Abrahamic religions and read vast amounts of literature on the topic and that I came to disbelieve all of it, is something they cannot fathom.
To me, there is no love in religion. It is slavery and obedience and fear to a petulant tyrant – do as I say or burn in hell – charming.
No, I prefer the love that comes with mortal life. The very love that has rescued me from the hell of my own mind and suffering of life. The love of my family, the love of my friends and the love of my craft.
But it is the love of my boyfriend that has brought me to the high point of my life. That feeling you find when another person loves you regardless of who you are, what you’ve done and in my case, caused them to pain unintentionally. It drives you forward to be a better man. It takes away the more selfish parts of your personality.
Instead, you look for ways in which to make them smile and laugh. You find ways to fulfil the trust, faith and love they have placed in your hands. Sometimes, you will fail and hurt them and do everything in your power to make up for it. Love is a partnership aimed at raising you both up to new heights that you didn’t even know were possible.
The power of Love
I fell in love last year, and within a few months, I fucked up. But I also discovered happiness that I have never experienced before. I learned that through my boyfriend’s love for me, I could find a passion for myself. Not in an egotistical fashion, but rather a realisation that if they love you, then there must be something inside of you worth loving.
That message is so powerful that is snapped me out of a decade of appalling behaviour. It broke the spell of casual despair that has clung to me for years.
I am calmer. People note that I am happier. Many of my repetitive, self-destructive actions have ceased. And I am always searching for new ways to become a better person, whether through reading, listening, watching or doing.
Love of another person has so much potential to change each of our lives. Its changed mine for the better. It’s saved me no less, and I cannot be more grateful to the man who gifted me with his love.