Paradise – Toni Morrison

I came across this excerpt last week as I was looking for readings to add to the collection I offer my couples (if you’d like a copy of that PDF of readings, please email me, [email protected])

Once again, Toni Morrison has stopped me in my tracks and challenged me with her searing and insightful reflection.

That final line stabs me in the heart. . .

Paradise 

Toni Morrison

Let me tell you about love, that silly word you believe is about whether you like somebody or whether somebody likes you or whether you can put up with somebody in order to get something or someplace you want or you believe it has to do with how your body responds to another body like robins or bison or maybe you believe love is how forces or nature or luck is benign to you in particular not maiming or killing you but if so doing it for your own good. 

Love is none of that. 

There is nothing in nature like it. Not in robins or bison or in the banging tails of your hunting dogs and not in blossoms or suckling foal. 

Love is divine only and difficult always. 

If you think it is easy you are a fool. If you think it is natural you are blind. It is a learned application without reason or motive except that it is God. 

You do not deserve love regardless of the suffering you have endured. 

You do not deserve love because somebody did you wrong. 

You do not deserve love just because you want it. 

You can only earn – by practice and careful contemplations – the right to express it and you have to learn how to accept it.

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