“There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche
Let me tell you a little story about my visit to the mountains of Turkey many years ago.
I met this beautiful, intelligent girl from Turkey, with crazy dark curly hair. We had this great relationship going and one day she asked me if I would like to learn her origins and travel to Turkey with her. I said “of course”, and the next thing I know I was on sitting on an airplane on my way to Anatolia, (the mountain region of Turkey).
Over the next few days she showed me her beautiful country, full of nice people and breathtaking scenery.
We were on a mountain trip looking for her hometown when she suddenly asked me:
“How do you like my village?”
“What village?” I asked. “You mean the three cabins over there?”
“Yes” she replied, “this is where my parents grew up. My origins are right over there”.
We went to visit her grandparents. They were living in a very small house, which looked kind of decayed from the outside, but was surprisingly comfortable and well furnished on the inside. Not to our western standards, of course, but adequate and pleasant.
Her grandparents were very nice, but somewhat scary people. Do you know the type of elderly people, who seem to be able to look you in the eye and know all about you? What you are thinking, what you’ve done, what you will do? All of the world’s wisdom seemed to lie in them.
Especially her grandpa, with his white beard and stabbing blue eyes, as if he had jumped out of a fantasy movie.
And I was sitting in front of them as the boyfriend of their loving grandchild.
After some meaningless chitchat, where no more than “yes” or “no” left my lips, her grandpa said something that I will never forget my whole life.
They seemed to have noticed that we were very in love- it was written all over us. He said with a meaningful attitude and very earnest, if not threatening:
“Pay attention that you do not love too much. It’s never good to love someone too much”.
Then he stood up, walked to his grandchild, kissed her gently and left the room, without looking at me once.
Needless to say, I was quite shocked.
“What did he mean by that?” I asked my girlfriend later.
“You have to find out by yourself”, she replied. “My grandpa says mysterious things all the time. People are coming to him and asking for his advice all over the country. When he says something like this, it always has some meaning.”
Never love too much.
It absolutely didn’t make sense to me. To love someone was, for me, the ultimate altruistic gift you could possibly give. I desperately wanted to do that, to love someone until madness. It was my personal goal.
The Turkish girl and I broke up months after that for various reasons, to my regret, but I never stopped thinking about this strange event that happened in the mountains of Turkey.
A few years later I would find out the meaning of this sentence, and what it meant to me, in the most painful way.
After that devastating breakup I experienced, I suddenly realized why it is bad to have loved TOO MUCH, and it made perfect sense to me.
It’s bad because I lost myself completely. I lived through the other person, defined my happiness by the other person, and connected all my future and past to her.
That is loving TOO MUCH.
Every time you find yourself disconnected from the person you really are because of the relationship, then you are loving too much and it WILL lead into disaster.
Of course I do NOT mean that you shouldn’t give all the love you have, you definitely shouldn’t hold anything back, but don’t lose the person you are over it.
This is MY personal truth and interpretation of that mysterious phrase I heard so many years ago.
Do you think that it’s possible to love too much, until madness? I’d love to read your opinion in the comment section.
(Photograph is a courtesy of KorayGokhan)