One young man told me: “I really love one girl and really appreciate her; I deeply admire her and want her to be with me”. I was very surprised and told him: “What are you doing for this?” The answer was: “Nothing. She will never know about it, because she loves someone else. Since I love her, I won’t say anything to her. I love her, therefore I do not want to interfere in her life, although now we spend some time together. We are graduating from university. Thoughts have arisen to come up to her, to talk, to propose a family life. But when I realized that all her thoughts are about someone else, I left her alone. I love her, so I’m avoiding her”. This is what “love” means! To think about the good of the one you love. In this case, it will be good not to preoccupy her heart, to respect the life choice of another person. This love inside you will turn into a tear, a diamond, into that pain with which live water will flow into your heart, so to speak, the water of God’s grace. And though your love is hidden now, it seems that you do not show it, but this love, on the contrary, deepens inside you. You become more sensitive, real, creative and valuable. And someday you will receive a reward for this. That’s for sure.
“I love my child,” said one mother, dialing his phone number five hundred times. “I’m doing this out of love, I want to know what he’s doing, where he is.” But the truth is different. In fact, she cannot stand the separation from her child. She cannot stand the fact that her child is going into adulthood. “Who are you with, why are you coming back late, what have I heard about you, who is that girl?” Nothing but suspicions and ill connection. And this is definitely not love. Because “to love” means “to give”, to say: “I want you to spread your wings. I want you to feel good”.
“He must increase, but I must decrease”, – said St. John the Baptist when he saw the Lord. “I love the Lord, so I do not care that I will be in the background. No matter where I go, so much light spreads before me that there are no limits, not even shadows. I will always be in the light, when I love Him, I will always be in joy. I love Him from afar as well. I love Him, let it seem that I am disappearing and going out. I love Him from a distance also, I feel it in my heart. I give freedom. I don’t care who he speaks to, I am not tempted by this, I do not envy, I do not suffer”.
And do you know what this does to another person? He starts to love you more; he cannot leave you. Do you know why he cannot? Because you give him the opportunity to be free. When you provide an opportunity for someone to leave you, they cannot do this. When you hold them by force, you achieve the opposite.
Do you understand? This happens in different relationships. You have noticed this many times in your own relationships. You say: “I envy my wife a lot, I suffer …” If you love her, look inside yourself. And firstly, find your own beauty that will fill you with reliability and tranquility. Then learn to love your person truly, pray for him, feel what he feels, that is, say: “Does he enjoy what I am doing now? Does he like that I torment him like this, tire him, put pressure on him?”
Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds
From the book “Love Forever” by Father Andrew (Konanos).