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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Thoughts on love (and Shrek 2)

Ok, it's a kiddie movie, but I love Shrek 2. It's lighthearted, funny and tells a good, gripping story, albeit one that's fairly predictable. It's basically your everyday true love conquers all story as it relates to an ogre and a princess.

The reason for this post, though, is a line that's certainly not unique to this love story. "If you really love her, you'll let her go," says Fairy Godmother to Shrek at one point in the story. We've all heard that line so many times in so many different love stories. Sometimes the person follows this advice, and sometimes they don't, with varying consequences depending on the story.

Like any other cliche, there is some truth in this saying. True love requires that you want what is best for the person you love, and sometimes that means acknowledging that you are not the best match for that person. Sometimes, you do have to let them go. It is also truue in the more general sense that you need to let the other person be free to become the person they are meant to be, and not force them to conform to your vision of who they ought to be.

Nonetheless, I think this line is used too often, and makes people nervous and less confident than they ought to be is their relationships. When you truly do love someone more than yourself, you always worry that you might not be helping them live up to their fullest potential. There's always times when you wonder if they truly would be better off without you. And, like in the movie, there's usually someone around to whisper the poisonous line at the opportune moment. Sometimes the person has an agenda, but sometimes they just honestly believe that the two of you would be happier apart.

I'm not denying that some relationships just aren't meant to be. For many reasons, two people can love each other, but still not be able to make the relationship work. And, in those cases, the best decision you can come to is to walk away and live with the regret, rather than try and stick it out till you end up hating each other. Still, in most cases, you can make it work, and it's important to know that. You need to be confident that you are the one your lover is meant to be with; that there's no one else who would be better for them than you are. We all have doubts sometimes, but if we stick it out and try our best to make it work, we might just be rewarded with something beyond our wildest expectations.


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