LOVE MONTH: DAY 18: “Love is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise. If love were only a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever. A feeling comes and it may go. How can I judge that it will stay forever, when my act does not involve judgment and decision.”― Erich Fromm
I don’t know that any of us can promise to love someone or something forever. It sounds beautiful and is the basis of a lot of the stories we watch in movies or read about in books. But I personally believe it is a setup for a great deal of torment and misery.
We don’t have anything forever. It is not ours to promise. That is too great a burden for any human to undertake. Most of us cannot fulfill that kind of promise to another person or even a kitten or puppy. It is unrealistic because our common destiny is death.
When we recognize that our “forever” may be an hour, a day, a week, or maybe a decade, there is no way to promise those things to anyone or anything. We have this day, should we be able to survive until its end. I can promise to do my best to remain a loving person to a friend or partner for that one day. It is the same commitment I make to myself…to practice being a loving servant to my highest and best self and to the furtherance of my purpose, as I know it, today. There is no more I can do or say about that. It is not mine to give.
Empty promises feel shallow and meaningless. We have all made them; and we have all had them made to us. We know them when we meet them. That promise of “forever” is such an empty promise. We know it, and yet most of us will do that when we marry or love another person as a mate.
I cannot even commit to the most important piece in my life…my recovery from addiction and codependency. I can only do that for today…one day at a time. Forever is to big for me to even begin to comprehend.
So, my decision to love is for this day only. I love this quote, because it tells me why it is not possible for me to promise love forever. And Mr. Fromm, or Dr. Fromm, actually, is the arbiter, for me, of all things love. His wisdom and life were the very picture of some of the biggest love stories in the world, ever. I will take his words to heart. Today I love, as much and well as possible, for this day only. It is all I have and all I will ever need.