I’ve been reading the novel Speaks The Nightbird, by Robert R. McCammon. The story is set in the Carolinas in 1699 and centers on the trial of a woman accused of being a witch. This wonderfully written novel is at times horrifyingly suspenseful and at others a beautiful foray into the human psyche.
I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll just get to it. At one point in the book, one of the characters ponders the notion of love.
He wonders if love is the desire to possess someone or if it is the desire to set the object of your love free.
I closed the book to ponder the question for myself.
I have always seen love as a desire to free someone to their intended purpose; to help the other become more of who they are meant to be.
I am not speaking about setting someone free to leave their responsibilities; but setting them free to determine what their responsibility to life actually is.
I pondered further and began to see Freedom in five acts:
* The Freedom to care for yourself
* The Freedom to think for yourself
* The Freedom to care deeply for others
* The Freedom to allow others to be who they are
* The Freedom to Transform
As RuPaul and a bunch of others would say, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the ---can you love anybody else? Can I get an Amen?”
Loving myself, then, is the act of setting myself free to love others.
I pondered the question further and came back to the question I asked myself at the age of 8; “Why was I born?”
Yesterday, I went back to my child self and told her the reason; “To Love and be loved.”
I sat back down reopened the book and found the character saying that if love was about possession then surely it was based on the insecurity of individuals.
Love is helping the other to be free.
I Love you, Be free.
Bertice Berry, PhD.