Sunday, June 27, 2004

The Wisdom of Eva

The boon of a canceled appointment today afforded me the opportunity to channel surf for a bit. Deliver Us From Eva was on. I remembered it being an entertaining spin on Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, so i settled in to watch it again. It was cute. I didn't remember that Miss Evangeline Dandridge (Eva's full name) had the following words of wisdom for me.

"You know what I learned about love, Raymond? Love isn't a virus that infects you; it's a choice. We choose to fall in love and we choose what love makes us do."
--Gabrielle Union, Deliver Us From Eva

I think i'm there. I've never been one of those, "love makes you stupid" kind of folks. My friend April and i have talked about it before and i always argued that if it makes you stupid, it probably isn't love.

I guess when you get down to it, it's a matter of semantics. How much of what people typically call "love" is a biological-emotional reaction, and how much is how we choose to relate to other people? In keeping with my guiding principle, i'll put my faith in choice every time.

So when i say i have never stopped loving anyone i've ever loved, it's about me choosing not to release that. It doesn't mean i've still got burning passion for them or -- in the case of the men in my past -- that i'm wishing, hoping, dreaming, or even thinking of being with them again. It just means that choosing to love is much more satisfying to me than placing my relationships, my life at the mercy of my hormones.

Iyanla Vanzant (and probably many ancient sages prior) has said that there are only two real emotions: love and fear. All else stems from one of those two. If that is true, then choosing to put aside love is akin to choosing take on fear. I'm not saying i've never been fearful for someone i've loved before, or that i've never experienced the two emotions in relation to each other. But the possessive, jealous emotions i've experienced in my life were more about the fear of losing love (or the fear of losing what i thought of as mine), than about true love.

Eva was right: love is a choice. It's a choice i'm confident in making.


Charles said...

Always insightful Malik. I am not sure how much I feel that love is a choice, but it is definitly necessary I think.

Ynkuya said...

Ok so I'm blogg crazy today. Malik I completely agree with you I think.

One of the things that I've noticed since accepting myself as an atheist is that so much of the time we, human beings, look for something outside of ourselves to give our choices to. This is why god does not work for me. Neither does fate or destiny.

I believe that our lives are the sum totals of our choices. We often seek to blame someone else (god, fate, ancestors, grimlins) for the things that happen in our lives because being completely in charge of your life and what happens in a world of chaos where you control nothing else is scary. It's so much simpler to give god your choice and your life and believe in him to chase the boogie men of this world of chaos into hell where they belong.

Love is a choice. Emotion is inate but love is so much more than an involuntary emotion. Love is rooted in what we choose to believe about the people in our lives. We create little stories in our heads about the people that we love and spend our relationships with them mending the peices of the story that they undermine with there behavior and building little extensions as we learn more about them. The above is where most of the choice resides.