If we could somehow look to the end of our lives, would we live them any differently?
WOULD we still open our hearts to others if we knew that our hearts may be broken? Or venture on detours that may bring suffering, lost love, jealousies and mistakes as well as joy?
Would we even bother to leave our beds if we could see the future? Probably not.
All we can know, as the Hindu Bhagvadgita points out, is that life is a cycle of infancy, growth, maturity, old age and death. How and when this happens is not within the scope of human knowledge.
Our only real power is in how we react to the cycles of life. There is always a choice.
We can choose to love but we should know that loving is often unsafe and messy. Real love lies somewhere beyond romance and naivety.
French philosopher Jacques Maritain, who cared for his beloved dying wife Raissa after she suffered a debilitating stroke, wrote: “Only two kinds of people think that love is easy—saints, who through long years of self-sacrifice have made a habit of virtue, and naïve persons who don’t know what they’re talking about.”
It’s in learning to love honestly that we learn to live fully. It takes the courage to walk into the unknown. And the faith to know we don’t do so alone.