(Click here for a video of John reading this Catch.)
For the life of our marriage, quite consistently, my wife has loved me for no reason.
Now in case you’re wondering, that’s a good thing — a very good thing, indeed. Because if she loved me for reasons, what if those reasons changed or if I changed and lost the reason why she first loved me? Then what? What if she loved me because I was a good guy but she later found out I wasn’t as good as she thought? What if she loved me because I could serenade her with my guitar, and suddenly I have a numb hand and I can’t play guitar anymore? No, I’m quite fortunate to have someone to love me like this — for no reason.
To love for no reason is to simply and purely love. Marti is so good at this. She is a love dynamo. She purely and simply loves. It’s not measured; it’s not conditional; it’s not forced. She doesn’t love because she’s supposed to, she loves for no reason. It’s love first, ask questions later. I watch it happen all the time with everybody. She never runs out.
If you think about this, it’s kind of crazy.
Marti has had the opportunity to be amongst people such as Terry Bradshaw, Don Shula, Dolly Parton, and Michael Jackson and she loved them all for no reason, not because they were famous. When she first met me, I was accustomed to being loved because I was “somebody.” I had record albums; I had tours; I commanded an audience. She never got any of that. She couldn’t figure out why people were making such a fuss over me. She just loved me for no reason. In fact, the first time she heard me sing, she couldn’t figure out why people were applauding. After all, it’s just John.
In contrast, my love for her, all too often, has reasons. I place conditions on my love. “I love you if you don’t spend money.” “I love you if you go back to work and support me,” and if she doesn’t, I withhold my love.
Take last night for example: Marti and I, like most married couples I know, are on two different time tables. I’m a morning person, she belongs to the night. At ten o’clock at night, I am done, but she is just getting her second wind. She can go for four more hours. At that point I start to resent her. I play like I’m paying attention and I am not being fair. At that point I am not loving her for no reason, I am resenting her for lots of reasons. So what would it mean to love her for no reason at that moment?
There would be no resentment, no selfish thoughts about how am I going to get through this evening without falling asleep on her (which I have done). There would be only love. And in love, I would engage in spite of myself. I would make a conscious attempt to step out of myself and into her because I love her for no reason. And if I was physically incapable of doing that, I would suggest that we finish the conversation at another time.
Here is what gets in the way of love for no reason. Blame, shame, resentment, regret, conditions, ultimatums, demands, qualifications, expectations, hopes, past glories, and past failures, to name just a few. What happens to these things when we love for no reason? They vanish. There is no resentment in love. None of these things are found in love. They are gone. They disappear. When you love for no reason, no reason can get in the way. It’s not really that complicated.
Nothing can destroy the reason to love when we are loving for no reason.