somehow jennifer lopez's song, "my love don't cost a thing", got stuck in my head yesterday. and i go to thinking about it - and i think she's half right. no one's love should cost to be recieved - we shouldn't have to earn it, or deserve it, or bribe someone for it. love should be given freely. but i think she missed, and we miss, a very important truth. Love costs a lot to give. real Love costs the giver. not money - not like love requires gold and diamonds, tho the jewelry industry would like you to think so - but it costs us in becoming vulnerable & transparent to another human being. it costs time and self-sacrifice and service to the other. it costs sleepless nights over shared pain; we pay the price of continuing to move forward when we don't want to; when our ego's are hurt and our pride is damaged. it costs a death to self that is continual and sometimes painful - our selves don't die easily. it costs self-denial, and we are taught nothing in this culture more strongly than "why deny yourself? get what you want." in the words of the luxury car commercial, "it's not more than you need, it's just more than you're used to".
maybe this is why we don't easily give Love. it seems, at first blush, to put us at a disadvantage. it is expensive, and it asks us to put ourselves at the end of the line, rather than push our way up to the front. but this is 'kingdom upside down' kind of living. this is how we were intended to be. and i can tell you from personal experience that it is not easy. not remotely. but it can transform me when i let it...and to tell you the truth, it's not often that i let it. sometimes, you get lucky and the cost is small compared to the return. but even when it's not, i believe that trying to be who we are intended to be, what we are intended to be, has an impact that goes beyond today, beyond here and now. and so even if the cost is great, i want to learn how to live Love. i am willing to live upside down. i hope.