She became a single mother after her discovery of her lover’s treachery. He had collected all her savings and lavished it on some other girl. When she confronted him, his nonchalant attitude completely broke her and so she stormed to the nearby beach , loaded herself up with alcohol and had unprotected sex with an acquaintance. She was so overtaken with sorrow that she didn’t know she was pregnant until several weeks after and although the acquaintance denied paternity she knew that her salvation lay in having the baby. She ended her story with the words “the people we love, will change us” and her words ring deep and true for me as it did for her.
There is nothing better than love crooned Luther Vandross and I agree with him. Love makes us breathless, happy, energised and brings out the best of ourselves. It introduces us to a whole new world in culture, music, food, art; which may exist within our locality of which we knew nothing about. It expands our horizon as we see things through another’s perspective, visit places that hitherto were forbidden or do things we had thought were taboo. Love, it widens our social circle and influence as we become acquainted with people that we will come to love, admire, detest or hate just because they may mean something or nothing to our lover.
Love, it makes us more generous and giving of ourselves, time and resources. It promotes our health as the neurochemicals – dopamine and oxytocin which are produced by the body in a state of excitement help to relive stress, reverse high blood pressure, treat sleeplessness and rejuvenate our skins making us look more youthful and pleasant to the eyes.
Love, a beautiful thing to behold when reciprocated, is a terrible thing to experience when it goes south. Whatever side of love we experience, one thing is sure, it never leaves us the same, for it is the nature of love to change us either for the better or the worse. It changes us for the better when we yield to the urge to be the best we can because of the love we have received from another. So we become more patient , more understanding, more giving, more thoughtful, tolerant ,kind and calm. It changes us for the worse when as a result of betrayals or unrequited love we become distrustful, envious, hardened , cold, resentful, bitter, malicious and cynical
It influences our decision both in the present and the future for it has a lasting impact on us. It makes us do things we ordinarily would not do, e.g., burrow money for and on the behalf of someone we love and not do things we ordinarily will do, e.g., when we harden our hearts to our present lover requests mainly because of the attitude and actions of a past lover.
The effects of love follow us for a lifetime and shape how we relate with and to others. We will all agree that to some extent we have related with people based on what lessons we have learnt from the people we loved and those that loved us. I have learnt to be more loving, thoughtful and generous towards people mainly because others by being thoughtful towards me have helped me to begin to look for ways to be thoughtful towards others.
The psychologists say that the people we love can affect our personality both for the good or the bad. I know people who are more guarded , more secretive , more relaxed , more self accepting and fun loving because of the experiences had with people they loved. Love is able to affect us so deeply because it makes us vulnerable and vulnerability opens our inner self to ourselves and others. If we allow it , love brings a richness to our lives that would be missing if we had not encountered the people we love.
In loving we will find both joy and pain it behooves us therefore to choose wisely the people we love so that when we change, as we will, we change for the better and not the worse. You may ask if it is possible not to allow Love change us for the worse and my answer is Yes we can choose our reactions to the actions of our lover and disallow them from changing us.
I always scoffed at women who went through their husbands phones looking for evidence to nail him until I found myself doing the same thing early one morning at 2 am in the toilet so he would not see me. I did it a couple of times until I came to myself one day and told myself I wasn’t going to let his actions or inactions change me because I truly believed I was above snooping around. From that day onward, I never once searched his phones for evidence of indiscretion. I was able to do so because I was aware of my values, I saw myself in a particular way and I wasn’t going to allow someone no matter how much I loved him to change me in such a manner that I thought was beneath me. I have followed this reasoning in many areas of my life and I have found out that I can choose for Love to change me for the better and not the worse by remaining true to myself and my person.
So today open yourself to love knowing that those who we love and those that love us will change us but make sure that you love the right persons and that even if Love brings pain your way you can still enjoy the fullness of life if you don’t allow it to change the essence of who you are.