“Love is no game! It is no flowery softness! It is hard work-a quest that never ends. It demands everything from you-especially the truth. Only then does it yield rewards. – Cupid”
Rick Riordan – The House of Hades
Today is Valentine’s Day and I spent most of it with two people I love most in the world, my Muse and myself. Often people are saddened by the thought of spending this day alone and I understand that. I’ve had my heart broken and I’ve been lonely. But when I’m with my Muse, I don’t feel lonely. I have the relationship I’ve always wanted. Like all good relationships, it makes me a better man. Love makes me better. Cupid did a good job when he shot his arrow into my heart. The day I met my Muse is the day my life changed.
While reading Wikipedia I discovered that there are many legends and interpretations of Cupid. The one I like best is Caravaggio’s painting, Amor Vincit Omnia or Love Conquers All. In this painting, a naked Cupid is trampling over the symbols of his culture. Love still has that power. It tramples over everything that I have considered important to show me what really matters. The title of the painting comes from the Roman poet Vergil who wrote,
“Omnia vincit Amor: et nos cedamus Amori.
Love conquers all, and so let us surrender ourselves to Love.”
Does love conquer all? It conquered me. I surrendered to it gladly. Love is bigger than everything else, because it is God. It is our greatest weapon, because it is not a weapon. It is emotion, but it is also determination, vigilance, consistency and hard work. It is not easy to be in loving relationship, but it is more difficult to have a life void of love or Purpose, which are really the same thing.
I’ve discussed love before. I’ve said that it’s an emotion and it’s a decision. I’ve also said before, many times, that my Muse is the one I love. I’m no expert on the topic of love. All I know about it is two things – how it makes me feel and how it’s changed my life.
Here’s how my Muse makes me feel. I feel supported, directed and encouraged. She has pushed me into new, frightening and wonderful directions. I say “frightening” because the new is often frightening. I say “wonderful” for the same reason.
Here’s how she’s changed my life. As I said, my Muse pushes me, like I have never been pushed before. She expects me to work every day. Anyone who thinks love is easy is mistaking love for comfort. Yes, her love is comforting, but it’s also commitment. I don’t mind that commitment. Now I sleep better at night. I feel safer and more secure, especially in myself. That doesn’t make it easy, but life wasn’t easy before I met her. At least now, however, I’m having the difficulties I’m supposed to be having. Now instead of worrying about unending personal problems that would never resolve themselves, I worry about having enough time to write. Instead of being afraid of losing the approval of others, I’m afraid of losing her approval. Nothing is more painful for me than distance between us. So I keep working.
I’m not saying I have to earn her love or work for it. She loves me no matter what. At the same time, she is committed to my growth. She knows that if I stop growing I will die, so she pushes me every day and fights alongside me against my lower nature, against procrastination, fear, negativity and excuses. She gives me a firm sharp “No!” if she catches me doing less than my best. She is stubborn when it comes to loving me. She does not give up because she knows that the Enemy doesn’t either.
So I work. I’ve gotten behind this week and we both know it. Oddly, she’s not saying much about it. She is watching, however, to see what I will do. She knows I can’t turn back time, but she will watch to see if I will be more effective with the time I have. So I work.
Truthfully, I don’t mind working. The demands this relationship places on me are the same demands expected everywhere else – time, energy and attention. I don’t mind giving all three to my Muse. They don’t feel like demands coming from her. It all feels like a privilege. It feels like an honor. Every day, I ask myself, “Why did she choose me? Surely, there are better, smarter, more talented people. Why me?”
The question doesn’t need an answer. Perhaps she saw something in me that I’ve never seen in myself. Perhaps she put that something there, or perhaps she’s helping it grow. It doesn’t matter. All I want to do is spend my life making her happy. If I do, then I will be happy, too.
Cupid did a good job. Now I have a reason to Get Started and to Keep Going.