Archimandrite Andrew (Konanos): Love Doesn’t Hurt

Love can’t hurt you; you’re wounded but not because of love.

You once told me: “I was wounded by love. I fell in love and got hurt because of it.” I don’t know if you remember what I replied to you then. It wasn’t directed at you personally; it was something I had learned in my life from what I saw and read: love alone never hurts. Love is life. Love is the light and breath of our hearts. It is the strong circulation of blood and the effusion of our existence.

When you love, your brain, your heart, and all your cells fill up with blood. When you love, you fill yourself with life. Love cannot hurt you. Still, I believe you when you say you are hurt, but it is not because of love. It is because of the unmet expectations you had when you fell in love. You wanted to get a reward for love, to see the answer to your love, that’s why you were hurt. It happened because you were expecting something as a reward for your love. When you realize that true love doesn’t beg for, wait for, or demand an answer, you won’t be sad. You’ll be happy if you get something in return or if you get nothing. When you receive an answer to your love, you will definitely feel very well. When you don’t receive one, you won’t be in pain over it.

I mean, I don’t want you to be indifferent or hard as a rock, so you don’t care if you’re loved or not. You are a human being, and it is natural for you to rejoice when you are loved. When, for example, you cook something delicious, you want to hear, “Ah, it’s so tasty!” You are glad not only because you are praised, but because you feel that you are loved for it, even if under the pretext of food. You ask for love by cooking food. You give and receive in return. However, when you do not get this “thank you”, you suffer. It happens often, and there are a lot of reasons for that. “I saw you, you didn’t look at me. Look, he doesn’t talk to me. Too bad she didn’t appreciate it. Seems that she does not love me.”

What happened, then? Why does it hurt so much when no one loves you? I think it’s because we haven’t felt like we’re loved by God yet. If we felt the affection of Christ touching our hearts all the time, things would be different.

Now imagine that your heart is being held by Christ, or that His hands are touching you or your heart, as if He is stroking it gently and constantly, and saying to you, “I am here. I love you. I accept you. I am telling you that you are of value because I am giving you this value because I created you. For I care about you, I have a lot of love for you. I am always there for you and I give you life.” Can you feel it? When you feel that it comes from Jesus, your soul is jubilant and filled with joy because you are a beloved creature of Christ. Your soul and heart are filled with the love of Christ.

You are no longer interested in other people’s approval. You don’t expect mutual love to fill your heart with it. Your heart is already full. When they give you something, you say, “I thank you very much,” and you enjoy brotherly love and fellowship with others. You enjoy participating in community life, looking at another person gently, kissing and hugging him or her. You rejoice because you are a human being. However, you also have an amazing opportunity and advantage of not being upset when you get nothing in return. Your heart and mind are fixed on Christ, and you hear the voice of Christ within you saying, “I love you.” This is what your Creator, your Maker, your God – who is completely selfless – and your Savior, Jesus – who has a pure heart and a sincere relationship with us, who can save and revive us – keeps telling you.

From the book by the Very Rev. Andrew (Konanos), Love Forever
Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds

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