Love is complicated. We can’t possess people like we possess things. We can’t turn a key and make people love us the way we love them. The key to understanding love starts with loving yourself as a complete individual.
“It’s because I love you that I won’t. Love is hungry. Love is selfish.”The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab
“You’re thinking of possession.”
He shrugs. “Are they so different? I have seen what humans do to things they love.”
“People are not things,” she says. “And you will never understand them.”
I’m reminded of one my favorite stories here, The Phantom of the Opera. I always cry for the Phantom. He loves her, but she refuses him. Why? It’s not the ugly she can’t get around, it’s that he misunderstands love. He’s twisted and tortured into thinking possession is love. He twists and tortures her world in order to turn her toward him, to make her love him.
I always wondered what would happen if she decided to love him, despite his evil ways. Would it end up one of those “unconditional love changes people” stories?
That’s what Addie is trying to express here. The Darkness is so removed from humanity, (because he isn’t human), that he is incapable of understanding love.
Writing that I just thought this same thing could be said about the Lucifer character in the TV show. It’s part of why I loved it so much. There he was on earth with humans, learning about them in every conceivable way but love. Lucifer learns to experience love, what it means to be human.
Addie is right. He has confused love with possession, as most people do. That’s why he hasn’t been able to learn the difference. Examples of real love are few and far between. We should know and be able to practice the difference, but we rarely do. It’s easier to possess another than to love them.
Relationships are complicated and there’s so much to do. To experience real love (and not possession), we need to start with ourselves. And loving ourselves is no picnic.
I blogged about “The Invisible Life of Addie Larue” when I started reading it back in January. It certainly didn’t take me long to read it all. I couldn’t put it down! Have you read it? You can find it on Thriftbooks.com if you don’t have it. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments when you read it!