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By Fr Jim Cogley

Consider the person or persons you hold dearest to your heart. Do you love them for who they really are, or for who you think they are? These two positions are oceans apart. If the former is true, you actually have a relationship that is based on unconditional love and respect. With the latter you don’t. You only have a relationship with the image you have imposed on that significant other, but you are not seeing them for who they really are. This is where heartbreak and disillusionment becomes inevitable as the reality becomes clear, that he or she is not a god or goddess after all. Up to this we had created a story about this person and now the story comes crashing down when he or she lets us down as it no longer fits the facts. This kind of let down and disappointment does not have to mean the end of the relationship, but it will present a challenge to love that person as they are and not as you thought them to be. Up to this my relationship was purely with a self-made image whereas now it’s with a real person.

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