Love Exists When You Are Free to Hate

What is love? Anything but a narrow definition.

I’ve spoken to this student once in the past. She described her role as a film curator. Naturally, this piqued my interest in hearing more of her perspective.

Me: So you mentioned that love for you is the reflection of the soul. What did you mean by that?

She: Hmm. Let me think… I’m trying to recall the time when my coworker and I discussed the subject of love.

Me: Of course. And I suppose that’s part of the job being a curator?

She: Oh yes. We review hundreds of film proposals, and the theme that keeps coming up is personal experiences with love. It is not always the romantic kind, nor does it always involve people. More and more, we see the dark and shadowy part of the love experience.

Me: Right, because love drives us to do terrible things sometimes.

She: Yes. And I think what I meant by the reflection of the soul is that love reflect our deepest desire and our honest belief about ourselves and the world.

Photo by Richard Jaimes on Unsplash


In Buddhism, love is a synonym to compassion, understanding, acceptance, and empathy.

In Christianity, we ought to emulate God’s unconditional love. And the ultimate form of love means the act of self-sacrificing.

The secular love?

People are left to grabble with the definition.


The hot summer air stood still. Stealing time between lessons, I walked briskly towards my favourite bubble tea shop in the hopes that there wouldn’t be a queue.

Recalling the discussion earlier, I pressed the dial button impatiently.

Me: So what do you think about her saying that true love does not exist because love is a thought and human thought changes just like everything else?

He: Hmm. So maybe love is similar to passion? Just like how an Olympian loses passion for the sport he or she used to love?

Me: That’s kind of sad… because in that sense, it is extremely difficult to have an ever-lasting love. But why do people make it seem so easy? It’s like, we just take it for granted that a married couple should just love each other until deaths do them apart.

He: Perhaps we understand too little. And back then, it would be unthinkable to raise children with only one parent while divorce wasn’t really an option.

Me: Oh, and also parents’ love for their children! I think parents sometimes hate their children.

He: I think so too. But it may be that love could last only when you are allowed to feel resentment and hatred.

Photo by Ian Espinosa on Unsplash

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