L´earning to Love
Gloria Ornelas Hall
In Greek mythology, three ‘Moirai’ thread the canvas of fate, the inevitable destiny we each have when we are born. Nietzsche goes further with his ‘Amor Fati’, the acceptance of this predetermination, through ‘choice’. The unpredictability of life, with its creases and folds, more of the time, depends on variables that have nothing to do with us. That is fate. We may choose or not, to go where fate leads us, rebelling and resisting that which we most dread, in fear of losing control over our lives. Sooner or later, we will end up where we began, anyway.
Love is inevitably interlaced to fate. We think we choose our life-long partners or children, naïvely pegging reasons and qualities that earn our favor, ignoring the fact that our souls respond to another call. We are beckoned to live out our soul’s longing, either to learn or repair, or help others into awareness. We can try to ignore this path, laid out long before we are born, but that is only fooling ourselves. It is not merit that earns us love. Sometimes it’s need from imperfection; sometimes it’s desire to help, entwined with co-dependence; sometimes, it’s inexplicable. It is not about choosing what 'cross' to bear or what sacrificial penance to accept. It’s a call, an ‘e-vocation’.
Love is not indiscriminate or dispensable. It does not overflow from abounding generosity or virtue. It is intricately nestled in our lives’ design, for reasons we may not understand, till we do; most of the time, near death. We must play out the role love deals us, acceptingly. I should have learned that in the Monastery when I pledged a vow of obedience. I thought it was to obey Reverend Mother; later, I thought it was about obeying my superiors in the Navy; later, obeying my husband, much as I had obeyed my parents…..I had never realized that the obedience, expected, was to fate. Love is not about being kind and dispensing compassion over those, ‘less benefitted´. It is not about charity from pity or compassion. It is about loving him or her, next to you; him or her, you most reject; him or her, fate had you be born with. It is not about pleasing or satisfying our will’s desire, but about fulfilling our destiny. In the light of this truth, fidelity makes sense.
The other day I was reminded of this, as my ex-university-classmates and I met after almost forty years. I was so grateful for them reminding me who I was, as we remembered outrageous scenes from our youth… It was one of them that pointed out that I had always been different (as we all are) and always set a sense of duty before me. It was she who reminded me that I had a destiny to fulfill, maybe even yet.