I’ve recently finished reading You Deserve Nothing, a controversial novel about a teacher (Mr. Silver) who has an affair with one of his high school students. Surprisingly, the book is more than the cluster fuck of sex and manipulation than I expected. Told from the perception of the teacher, the girl (Marie) who begins relations with him, and another student (Gilad) in his seminar class. The context of the novel forces the reader to ponder on the morale of life through the philosophical matters of religion, love, social constraints and the chasms of knowing your desires and acting upon them.
As I bring the agency of my own love life into the novel, I became engulfed in the philosophies of love and fear. Advice given from an older teacher to Mr. Silver reads:
“Cowards spend their lives alone. Either with people who can’t hurt them, or with no one at all. Either way, man. Same thing.”
And I realize as I become older that many of my friends and myself at a time pushed away love out of fear. We’ve been on either side of the fence: never letting anyone close enough to touch our hearts or cutting them off once that grasp becomes too much to bear. People become warped in a relationship with immense feelings and instead of fighting the battles that come with love most of us just forfeit. Being able to determine when to give up means you win but evidently you have lost to fear. We’re conditioned to believe love comes as easily as oxygen. With or without life will continue but for those of us on the fighting side of love know that’s not the case. New partners come and go but if you’re not with the one moments of regret and wonder come about without real reason.
This quote echoes the sentiment that what if one day it does not get better? What if your idea of better is running away from the possibility of losing to love and replacing it with the complacency to be in control of your heart.
When you find that love that makes the depth of your heart tingle with lust, compassion, empathy and happiness – 9 times out of 10 it is worth the fight. Love as enriched as that only comes once in a lifetime and we give it up for fear.
When there is no fear in love or life. Fear is a liar and only arises when what you’re chancing is worth the risk.