“To love on occasion is not love.” -Dejan Stojanovic
Last week I had a thought I haven’t been able to shake- one that has sparked a whole web of thoughts in my mind. I don’t know how true it is, but then again I don’t know how true a lot of things are.
The thought is this: at any given time, every person in our life represents either an obligation or an occasion.
Obligations are avoided until they can’t be any longer, dealt with because they must be, accepted out of comfort and convenience. Easier succumbed to than run from, but never really wanted.
Occasions are chased, loved, rejoiced over. They’re thought about and sought after because they bring joy and light. They’re run to and desired, and they make life fuller.
The invitation to hang out coming from an obligation is an annoyance. The invitation to hang out coming from an occasion is a gift.
I think people fluctuate between these two categories at any given time, and as the nature of our relationships with people change they drift back and forth over this hazy line in definition.
Real heartbreak happens when we become obligations to each other, when we begin to treat each other as if we are something to be dealt with rather than rejoiced over. Real friendship and love happen when we become occasions to each other, when we treat each other like something to look forward to.
It’s the difference between wanting to support someone and feeling like you have to support them. The line between being an obligation or an occasion is indistinct and potentially devastating.
If someone matters to you, treat them like an occasion. Everyone drifts into obligation territory sometimes, but the people who fill you with happiness deserve the best of you. They deserve to know that they are the equivalent of something to be anticipated and enjoyed, something to be loved.
Occasions deserve to be risen to.