Read #1 book on Hinduism and enhance your understanding of ancient Indian history.
Read #1 book on Hinduism and enhance your understanding of ancient Indian history.

Careen Ndoke

Inspirational


3  

Careen Ndoke

Inspirational


Pain Is The Prize Lovers Pay

Pain Is The Prize Lovers Pay

18 mins 246 18 mins 246

We all have diverse ways of understanding love, or traveling through its path; some see it as an adventure, others see it as just a feeling, fairy tale, or illusion. The adventurers are similar to those who see it as just a feeling_ to them love is a game. Well, for that I too see it as a game but in my own view, a *unique kind of game in a unique way* which goes thus; 

 (( Love is not a game of chess where you plan your next move, but it is a game of backgammon where you trust and throw the dice((.

I will tell you that, people’s feelings aren’t the chess game. They are precious so stop going on adventures and end up hurting your partner. Backgammon here is an example of love as a *sacrifice* not as a feeling. 

Those who see love as an illusion are the people who have been a victim to the ‘adventurers’ or those who have experienced another person being hurt in the process.

 I will mostly talk about the “fairy tale” kind of love as you call it; also known as *true love*. Most persons see this love as an illusion but I am fond of this love and I believe in it. Many at times friends have told me that this love is only in my imaginations. Others say I should stop watching telenovelas because they think it is the cause of these *crazy ideas* of mine as they call it. I just smile and say; ‘in as much as I enjoy telenovela movies, my true love belief does not come from them. I enjoy watching it because they display what I believe in and more to that, the writers may be shares my point of view that indeed true love exists, hard to find and also hard to keep.

Those who end up believing in this love think it is a complete bed of roses, but my dear so I thought until I got into it and understood that *pain is the price lovers pay*. Let’s take a look at it!


CHAPTER ONE


 LOVE IS NOT ALWAYS A BED OF ROSES


Oh love is the best treasure ever given to us by our heavenly father. True love is not an illusion; it is real, it exists but hard to find and hard to keep. When we end up getting it, we lose it simply because we want to add fantasy to it. We all are humans and we shouldn’t try turning our spouse or partners into an imaginary ‘Romeo’ or ‘Juliet’ just because of our fictional expectations_ that is selfishness. 

When you get into love, don’t think it’s all about the good times. Love isn’t all about the good times, it is a mixture of the good and bad times, ups and downs. Come to think of it, supposing it is all about the good times; romantic moments and feeling of butterflies every time_ I don’t know about you but to me, it’s going to be damn boring. The arguments make it real, the misunderstandings make it somewhat interesting. Tell me, will you enjoy a movie if it’s all about love, perfection, romance, and so on? I guess not! 

The tension, suspense, competition, and action make it more exciting and all you wish for is to see the end_ you don’t want to miss any episode. That’s the same with love; the arguments, quarrels, and misunderstandings make it interesting and the best part of it is that it strengthens the bond between you and your partner. What makes it interesting is the fact that after the arguments, you guys makeup and wave it by; after the storm or rain, you guys get to enjoy the rainbow. That’s the amazing part of it_ makes the love grow stronger each day.

When you get someone who makes you feel good, someone who cares, love and gives you attention, someone who makes all those your imaginations and dreams come right in front of you, someone who supports you, holds your hand in every step of the way and say_ “honey let’s do this or honey we’re into this together”. That one who respects, trusts, and is loyal to you, my dear please guard and keep that person jealously because he or she is a *rare pearl*. 

All of these does not mean he or she has no flaws. There are times you guys won’t always agree about something. You will have some clash and argument from time to time but does this mean it is not true love? Does this mean he or she loves you any less? OF COURSE NOT!  

Before jumping into crazy ideas and conclusions, have in mind that both of you didn’t grow up in the same conditions. Your partner may have his or her own views about life and his or her own principles. He or she might have gone through one or two hard times and all you’ve got to do here is *understand* each other. Build that up instead of saying you are fed up. Flaws do not disappear in just a twinkle of an eye, it is a process. 

God will never give you a finished good; He will give you a semi-finished good and you will have to process it into a finished good. He gave you that partner with such flaws because He knows you are capable of changing those flaws into the best of characters or maybe He wants to change you both in one way_ talking about *using one stone to kill two birds huh?*. 

By helping your partner become a better person, God is also working out patience and perseverance in you. So never a day should you think true love is a complete bed of roses.


The Three Stages of Love


Love has three stages as I put it;

-The sweet

-The sour

-The bitter

Let me explain; 

-The Sweet goes thus; when we get into a relationship be it for the first time or not, there is this particular feeling we all have. We feel like nothing matters anymore, like the world revolves around you and your partner. That love is so sweet that you find yourself smiling and blushing whenever you think about him or her. It doesn’t end there_ you guys text for long hours, call, and talk almost the whole time. You get excited when you are together and get angry when the time flies and you have to go home. 

At that stage even if you are dating the wrong person, no one can get you out of that relationship except a heartbreak because you are so much into it. You see your partner as the best thing that has ever happened to you; you see him as flawless. That feeling of excitement is still there; it seems like you fall in love over and over again. It is indeed the best part as we call it but very, very dangerous because you don’t only give out all your trust and love but you give out all your heart and energy and take silly decisions without using your head. 

-The sour part of it: slowly and unnoticeably the sweet part begins to disappear and this stage is always presented by one of you; either the lady or man. The calls reduce, the communication drops progressively_ instead of talking 10 times a day, you now talk 9, 8, 7 (and so fought) times in a day. You begin complaining; ‘you are neglecting me, you don’t have time for us anymore’ and the chain continues. When you complain, he or she adjusts and then changes after some time as if someone is pressing a control button somewhere and later goes back to that attitude.

-The Bitter part; oh this part makes people run mad but I love it though. It gives many heartbreaks because they (couples) use their hands to destroy their bed. The complaining start yielding questions of ‘what if’_ what if he is cheating, what if he doesn’t love me anymore, what if I’m not good looking anymore and this goes on and on…. This brings about doubt and you turn to be a nagging and problematic partner, giving your partner stress. When he is stress out with his job or projects you come with your own stress and combine it. What do you expect? That he pampers you? Oh no! He will pour out that stress on you and you will freak out and boom!! Problems takes the lead. 

Now tell me, who is to be blamed? 

This stage in every relationship is the trial stage; a stage where the love is tested to the peak, to know if you truly love your partner and can be there for each other ‘forever. This is the hardest test in all relationship and many fail it easily. It takes a certain maturity to get through it and it takes true love, patience, and understanding to stand firm till the end. I call this stage in relationships ‘THE TRAINING GROUND” because it shapes and sharpens your character and makes you strong_ If you are a crying baby, you will become a mature adult but if you resist, you will cry and get away saying ‘he or she broke my heart’. 

In this stage of love lies the real sweetness and even though it is difficult and so bitter, I like it because it has sharpened me and it still does. 


CHAPTER TWO


PAIN IS THE PRICE LOVERS PAY


Here we are! Let’s take a look at these price firstly in biblical terms. Shall we?


Jesus the Lamb of God


God Almighty being an all merciful God looked down and saw how much our sin had invaded the earth and how it grew each day. That wasn’t His plan for the world, so He was hurt and thought of what He could do and because He so much loved the world, He couldn’t stand seeing us perish so He had to send His only son to come and die for our sins so as to save us. 

 JOHN 3;16 “ For God so loved the world so much that he gave his only son so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life”.

Oh what a great sacrifice, what a great love. 

With so much love, Jesus came down on earth in the likeness of a servant and died on the cross for our sins, He bore our pains all by himself. 

Take a look at this great price. I’m sure you all know the story but just take a look at it again (summary). 

     

Luke 22;45-71

 

After the Passover feast, Jesus went to Mount Olive accompanied by His disciples to pray. After praying, he went to his disciple and met them sleeping so he woke them up to pray. At this time, one of His disciples called Judas Iscariot who betrayed Him came with the army and chief priest to arrest Jesus. They arrested Him and took Him to the high priest where he was to be questioned. While waiting for the elders and teachers of the law, the men guarding Jesus mocked, insulted, and beat him. After the mockery, Jesus stood before the high priest and his cabinet members who questioned him but they did not find anything to accuse him other than ‘he is the Messiah’, so they took him to Pilate.


Luke 23;1-


When the chief priest took Jesus to Pilate, they falsely accused him of misleading the people but when Pilate questioned him, he found Jesus innocent of the accusations but the people just wanted one thing; that was to crucify Jesus. When Pilate heard Jesus was from Galilea, he sent him to Herod. Herod asked Jesus so many questions but he answered none, so the chief priest stood forward and accused Jesus again falsely. Herod and his soldiers mocked Jesus and sent him back to Pilate. Pilate’s judgment was not pleasant to the people so they asked a murderer named Barabbas to be set free in place of Jesus and Jesus should be crucified. Pilate washed his hands in front of the people as a sign of “I have nothing to do with the death of an innocent man” (Mathew 27; 24). 

The soldiers led Jesus away with His cross to be crucified. When they arrived at the place of crucifixion called ‘the skull’ they crucified Jesus thereby nailing him on the cross. Oh my… what pain, what anguish…. But even in pain Jesus was still loving and cried out and begged His father to forgive the people who were so called ignorant (Luke 23; 34). 

And to end it all, Jesus cried out with a loud voice and died (Luke 23; 47).


(END OF STORY)


Jesus was all loving, caring and merciful. He did not deserve all the suffering, sorrow and anguish but still he went through it just because of LOVE. He took the shame, pain and humiliation just because of LOVE. He was mocked, he bore our pains just because of LOVE. I always imagine the pain he went through receiving every single stroke of the whip, the pain he went through when they put a crown of thorns on his head; the raw and harsh pain he went through when they pierced him in his hands, feet, and side with a nail. Oh… what pain! But because of LOVE, he let his precious blood flow. 

He had to pay the price for you and me. He had to die so we could be save, he had to suffer to give us comfort. He didn’t only give us true love, but he showed us the way. What a unique price and love.


Again I will want us to take a look at another example in the bible. A powerful man, blessed by God from birth, but had to pay the price of pain just because of love. 


 The story of Samson (judges 14; 1-20) 


Samson was a young man whom the Lord blessed with strength and wisdom. He was filled with God’s Spirit from the time he was conceived till when he was born. One day, he came up to his parents and told them he had found a woman who pleased him and wants to marry her. His parents were shocked knowing she was a Philistine but little did they know that God was the one putting that desire in Samson’s heart in order to free the Israelites from the hands of the philistines. 

On their way to Timnah, Samson encountered a young lion which he tore with his bare hands. When they arrived at Timnah, Samson spoke with the lady and she was pleased so they returned home. On their next visit to Timnah, Samson turned to the lion’s carcass to see what had become of it, and behold, he found a swarm of bees with some honey which he took some to his parents and also ate. They got to Timnah and he gave a banquet and also a riddle to the men which if they won, will get a price from him. But time was against them; since they couldn’t get an answer to the riddle, they decided to go meet Samson’s wife to be and threatened her to trick her husband so she could get the meaning. So she did, and after lots of efforts, Samson finally told her and she in return told the men. 

When Samson discovered that he has been tricked by his own, he got angry and left but this did not mean he loved his wife any less. It was a ‘fight’ which is normal among couples but the young lady’s father didn’t understand it that way. Instead of asking Samson’s opinion about the issue, he did what most of us do, he *assumed* Samson hated his daughter already so he went ahead giving her to Samson’s best man.

Probably, Samson’s anger went down so he took some gift to his wife but to his greatest surprise, he found out that her father had married her off to his best man. He was filled with ire to a point where he had to take revenge on the Philistines. 


Samson’s second love (judges 16; 1-30) 


Samson fell in love again with a woman named Delilah. My guess; I suppose he thought he had found true love. But take a look at the price he had to pay because of this love.

Samson’s so-called love, Delilah was asked by five Philistine king to trick Samson into telling her the secret behind his strength. She accepted to do this because of money. My guess again_ ‘probably love to her was just a feeling’. So, Delilah asked Samson on three different occasions to tell her the secret of his strength but Samson lied, and each time she did as said with the help of the philistine, it failed because Samson’s strength will make him jump up, ready to fight. She kept on asking and Samson got tired of her nagging him about it so he finally told her the truth saying_

“My hair has never been cut, I have been dedicated to God as a ‘Nazirite’ from the time I was born. If my hair were to be cut, I will lose my strength and be as weak as anybody else” (judges 16; 17). 

Delilah called for the Philistine after lulling Samson to sleep on her lap and cut off his hairs. Then she began tormenting him for he had lost his strength. When Delilah shouted ‘the Philistines are coming, he got up with confidence knowing he will lose himself and fight, but little did he know that the Lord has departed from him. He was captured by the Philistines, chained, tormented to the point where his eyes were pulled out. To cut the long story short, Samson cried to the Lord for mercy and God heard him and gave him a second chance. His hair began to grow again and his strength was restored. He killed his enemies and died along.

      

Now, talking about *pain is the price lovers pay*, Samson was an example. He loved but had to pay such painful price. Talking of Delilah whom he thought was his true love saw him as an *adventure and opportunity to make more money*. She saw love as a ‘feeling’ and cared less about what Samson felt for her. Who will get to know the secret of her man and sell it out for money? 

You ought to be happy knowing you have a man blessed by God, a man who loves you and will fight for you just to protect you. But Delilah was so blinded and probably stayed with the regret all her life. It is said that “you won’t know the true value of a thing or a person until you lose it right?”


Do we fall in Love or Grow in Love?

A friend of mine once asked me the above question and it was like wow!! I didn’t really think about it so I replied ‘we grow in love”. By the way how can you fall in love? What if you fall and no one catches you?’ I was serious but the reply made me laugh too. I mean that was a silly one right? 

When I sat alone the question came back to my mind. I thought about it and understood it;

 My answer after reflecting; you ought to fall in love before growing in love. 

How? Let me explain; every seed goes down before it grows and the sower helps it grow by taking care of it_ he or she waters it and makes sure it is at the right place; receives enough sunlight and so on. The seed slowly begins to grow and it needs patience because the process is slow and there are many things to do to take care of like; taking out weeds, watering them twice or thrice a day, looking after them. The plant grows and grows each day till it becomes a big tree that still needs the care to continue enjoying its yummy fruits. That is; you need to prune out some branches and sweep the fallen leaves.

That is how falling in love and growing in love works, they cannot do without each other. 

Some seeds fall and are never taken care of. They are neglected because it takes time to grow and later abandoned along the way simply because there was no patience and focus to see that it is progressing though it is slow.

Love is like a plant; we fall like a seed and grow like the plant if well taken care of.


FINAL WORD


In love we get happy and we get sad, we cry and we laugh, we get hurt and we heal. That’s what makes it real, that’s what makes it interesting. And making up after a fight makes the love true. 

Don’t think you won’t be faced with hard times, you will. True love is always tested to the peak. The best thing about loving and being hurt is that *you get to know what true love really is; for as gold is tested in fire and so will love be perfect in pain*. 

Have in mind; true love is the best feeling ever but it has ups and downs because love is not always convenient but if it is true, it will outlast any strain, overcome any obstacle and grow consistently and exponentially for all eternity.

Don’t think it doesn’t exist, it does but hard to find. This I will tell you; you have the raw material and the capacity to process it into true love (finished goods) not by imposing, but by love and care. 

I will tell you this; true love is like a rose, the thorns around it makes it somehow unique, strong, tough but beautiful. If you one day stop loving your spouse or partner, or start developing funny and negative ideas, think twice because you are slowly turning love into a feeling. Many say ‘I don’t love him anymore, he/she has changed, I don’t know but the ‘feeling’ has gone cold. Like seriously???? 

Before saying all those crazy things, pause and observe; if your partner has changed, ask yourself why he/she has changed; before judging, take a look at your recent behavior towards each other take a look at his/her professional life and stop giving he/she stress with your nagging words of *you have changed*. There’s always a reason for everything as well as a solution if and only if you think calmly. 

 I will end up by saying: true love never ends, if one ingredient doesn’t agree, spruce up your recipe with something else. By so doing, it will only get better and not bitter with time. And don’t forget *PAIN IS THE PRICE LOVERS PAY*.


THE END


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