First, I would just like to thank my library for saving me about thirty bucks because if I purchased Bel Canto, I would have purchased two other books because it was a “buy two get one free” offer. I am telling you this library thing is a GREAT FIND.

Now, about what I learned from the book.

There was this Russian character who fell in love with the opera singer. She only spoke English and he only spoke Russian. He decided to get the translator who was held captive with them to translate. The Russian tells the opera singer he is in love with her. She shifts the conversation to the story about the Russian’s grandmother and the art book he described before he told the singer he loved her. The Russian then says she is too American and thinks of love as an American thinks of love. He continues to tell her that love is a gift. It is nice when it is given back but that isn’t the point of giving loving to begin with. The mere fact of being allowed to love the person is the real gift. The being allowed to be in that person’s life and presence is all the person giving the love wishes to do. The person just wants to share this universal gift of love.

I am trying to wrap my head around this notion.

I have loved people and was just honored to love that person. Of course when I was younger I wanted them to love me back and it hurt when they didn’t. However, what if I could have just let go of my own selfish need to be loved back and just allowed myself to love them? Would those people still be in my life? Or would my love made them so uncomfortable?

I think my love does make people uncomfortable because I guess I am more akin to this idea of true unconditional love than I previously thought. I don’t mind loving people and as I am getting older, I don’t care if they love me back. Just being in their life and loving them is enough for me. That is their gift to me. If they give me love in return, then I see it as a bonus. I ask for nothing but to just love.

However, why then can’t I accept people loving me?

If I want people to just accept my love, why can’t I do the same?

Why do I freak out if someone loves me to whom I can’t love back? Why do I think they want something in return? Do I think they want something in return or do they really want my love?

I am very guarded with my love. It takes one hell of a person to get me to let go of just some of it. Yet I am more guarded with allowing others to love me. I can’t just accept someone loves me; I assume they want something. However, I love and want nothing.

I think it all boils down to this one thing: love is confusing. People are rarely on the same page when it comes to trying to understand love. Love changes over time. Our ideas of love changes as we get older. People have different standards for love. It is a contradiction.