Several years ago, I read a book entitled, Serpentine, written by the now-deceased but extremely talented author Thomas Thompson. This particular book was about a serial killer of European-Asian descent who crisscrossed across two continents preying upon and murdering many people. I do not remember much about this riveting read of long ago except for one salient point which seared in my brain. Like most sociopaths, the predator did not care about the human qualities of his victims except, hypothetically, on one occasion. If I recall correctly, he met a couple who were elderly and extremely devoted to one another. For some reason, which baffled those involved in the pursuit of this menace, he spared their lives, permanently leaving them untouched. Mr. Thompson masterfully raised the question about the power of love having some impact in deterring the killer.
Can Love Permeate The Impenetrable?
Many will balk and say that sociopaths are reptilian and eat their own, never mind strangers in their path. They might go on to say that sociopaths do not care about or recognize love as they methodically partake in the most heinous crime of all. I understand these doubters and wonder to myself why that couple, knowing so many loving people die at the hands of murderers. With that said, could the power of love and being in the right place at the right time have permeated what may have seemed impenetrable? We will never know.
What we do know is that love in all its glory often creates a power that supersedes boundaries of so-called limitations.
Over the years, I have witnessed this at various points. The inexplicable often happens, and like the couple spared in Serpentine, the healing power of love may defy all expectations. I often speak about one situation from long ago, where an adoptive mother’s enduring love of a very damaged child created an improved prognosis against the conclusions of the professionals. A few years later, there was a plane crash in which every passenger perished except for one little girl. In a desperate attempt to save her beloved child, the mother covered her with her own body. Love is a driving force.
The Potency of Love
As someone who believes in its potency in all forms, I have been and remain open to the possibilities. It is the virtue that stands tall among the others. Yes, all attributes have their place, but several people join me in saying it is love. Most of those who are people of faith would concur, but even from a secular view, love is dominating energy.
Back in the 1990s, The Boston Globe interviewed Sophie Freud, a Clinical Social Worker, and Sigmund Freud’s granddaughter. She discussed the phenomena of transference and countertransference, which is part of the therapeutic relationship. I will never forget that she viewed this process as being a form of love. As a therapist and a client of one, I couldn’t agree more. The healing elements of this corrective experience truly have no bounds.
Different Manifestations of Love
As Valentine’s Day approaches, we cannot forget the legend of St. Valentine, whom I wrote about in an article last year, Love In All Its Glory. Allegedly, he was so committed to those who wished to marry that he gave his life in the name of love. Many others have done the same. We know that love reveals itself in various forms. Romantic, maternal, and familial are at the forefront, but there are others. Consider our military, who often provide the ultimate sacrifice for love of country and citizenship. Where there is no family, friends offer a committed and steady love for each other. Although human love can be all-encompassing, we should not forget that our species is not alone in displaying love. Often, we hear stories about our four-legged companions who come in harm’s way in the name of loyalty, and, yes, love.
Think of Others
As you celebrate the virtue of love on February 14th, think about those who could use a loving gesture, a smile, a thank you, and a genuine compliment. Sometimes those actions or words have more loving power than you will ever know.
To the most revered virtue of all, love! Happy Valentine’s Day!