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To Love Much
Written by Paul Landis Delaune

     Human beings have certain basic needs that must be satisfied for us to live and be healthy.
The mostbasic of these needs are for air, water, food, clothing and shelter.  We also have
another basic need—one less tangible but no less important—and that is the need for love.
Love can be expressed andexperienced in different ways.  It can be a feeling in our hearts.
It can be lust in our loins.  It can be experienced by means of  companionship or intimacy.
Intimacy can be spiritual, emotional or physical, and one form need not be more intense or
enjoyable than another.

     Love is something I have longed for much of my life in one form or another.  But, for me, the
one form of  love that I have longed for the most is romance.  I have read that romance is
not really love and that it’s a popular fabrication of our entertainment media.  I don’t know if
this is really true or not.  I only know what I feel and it’s romance that I have yearned for
the most.

     Centuries ago Saint Theresa of Avila wrote: “The important thing is not to think much but to love
much; and so do that which best stirs you to love.”  I am a man who both thinks much and
loves much.  Often my love, my feelings, have been the object of my thinking in that I find
myself analyzing my emotions.  Analyzing one’s feelings denies oneself of the pleasure, and
the pain, that having feelings give us.  Now I try to follow my heart without analyzing what
my heart feels.

     Following my heart, for me, means having and enjoying romantic feelings for a woman I know
or even don’t know.  Romance has such fire to it, such depth, such zeal. However, romance
can be a drug and one can be addicted to it as certainly as one can be addicted to alcohol,
drugs or some other substance.Romance is real when the love it spawns is real.

    Some who dream of love dream of fairy tales in which romance and love live happily ever
after.  It has been my experience that love contains not only great joy but great pain as
well.  To love deeply means to hurt just as deeply.  That is why love is so precious,
because it contains both joy and pain.  The experiences of joy and pain of suchgreat
depths is what makes being human so unique.  It is something the angels can only
dream of experiencing.

    I have loved deeply and I have hurt deeply.  I have enjoyed romance and the love born of
its flames, and I have thrust love away from me and suffered in the lonely fire of love lost.
Others have suffered when the romance we shared bore no love in my heart.  I think of
myself as disciple of love, yet I must admit there are aspects of love that my heart has never
fathomed.  To be a disciple of love is to seek an ideal that may only exist in myth and in
legend…or in fairy tales.