I confess that I can be a bit of a series junkie and it hasn’t gotten any better in the COVID era. But I think many can relate to this at the moment.
Why do I mention this? A while ago someone recommended a series to me and I have finally gotten round to start watching it. The series is called “Scandal” and I am intrigued. I won’t give away much of the actual plot, but the main protagonists are an amazing woman lawyer (Olive) and an unhappily married president (Fitz) of the United States. She saves his campaign and helps him get into the White House – she fixes situations, she is a fixer (and an amazing one). Of course, it comes as it must and the two fall in love and a passionate but forbidden love affair begins.
I am just into the first few episodes but it is clear that the relationship between the two is unbelievably passionate and intense but impossible. He is the most powerful man in the world and has his duties towards his wife, his voters and his country. He constantly fights with himself and it is a fight between
When they meet they first fight and deny the feelings they have for one another, knowing it is wrong, so very wrong. They have this one moment (he is not yet president) when he pulls her out of the campaign room into the hall and they stand there just looking at one another and you know then that it is this one perfect moment that comes so rarely in life, when they both know that they will not be able to fight their feelings for one another much longer. It defines everything that happens afterwards – just this one moment.
I haven’t yet seen how it all unravels but so far it seems that the president is choosing duty over passion. He does not really love his wife (in the passionate way) anymore and he feels this obligation to stay as the president cannot, he must not be a philanderer and puts devoir before fervour. Nevertheless, he always returns to the woman he truly loves, because without her he does not feel complete, not happy. She is the one he thinks of all the time, she is what he dreams of, this is the life he has always imagined. At one moment he is even ready to give up the presidency so that he can divorce his wife and be with Olive. Of course there is much more to the story – which is great – and I am just concentrating on the relationship of the two protagonists Olive and Fitz to make a point. The first lady knows all along what is happening but turns a blind eye for reasons only she knows. So far Olive is the stronger one in this relationship. She is the one that takes the consequences Fitz’s actions may have into account, especially when he gets carried away. It is just one of those impossible loves that cannot be lived – for the wrong reasons.
You might ask what does all this have to do with the promising titel COMPROMISE VS. SACRIFICE (IN LOVE)? Bear with me, I am coming to that.
The wife compromises by staying with her unfaithful husband for love, security, status and perhaps even out of financial reasons probably knowing that the relationship was broken or breaking long before the other woman came into the picture. The wife compromises by turning a blind eye.
She compromises by being the other woman to the man she loves, knowing deep in her heart that she will never be enough. She compromises knowing she will always be kept in the dark, the best kept secret. She compromises being alone when it counts. She compromises knowing that the hopeless hope she has inside will one day break her. She compromises letting him come back again and again even if it causes her excruciating anguish and distress.
He compromises knowing he has to lead two separate lives. He compromises by staying with a woman he once loved out of duty to her and the family – and in this case even a nation. He compromises living with the shame and bad conscience for his betrayal. He compromises feeling the strain of an unfulfilled love and life.
In the compromise, all are trying to hold on to something that is in most cases wishful thinking, a fantasy or a life that belongs to the past.
The wife sacrifices her own happiness and the chance of giving her heart to someone more deserving, to someone who wants her with the passion she deserves. She sacrifices the feeling of trusting the man she spends her life with and in the end coming to resent him.
She sacrifices her happiness, the chance of giving her heart to someone more deserving, to someone willing to commit to her. She sacrifices her heart to a man that puts duty over passion. She sacrifices the love of her life, knowing she will always belong to him.
He sacrifices his happiness and the chance of a fulfilled life full of love and passion. He sacrifices the happiness of the other woman and that of his wife and family by holding on to something that is broken and even if wabi-sabi is a beautiful concept, it often does not appliy to relationships – but then you never know if you don’t try.
Does true love always prevail? I want to believe it does… even if it is far from realistic!
Essentially you have to weigh the options of how great a compromise or sacrifice you are willing to make in love. When the sacrifice becomes too great it may cost you dearly. It will affect your mental, your emotional as well as your physical health eventually and can cause serious damage to yourself and the people around you that you actually are hoping to protect with your actions. Sometimes the best intentions are not the right ones.
This of course is only one very general example of many when it comes to COMPROMISE VS. SACRIFICE IN LOVE. But I was inspired to take this example while watching the series “Scandal”, which I can highly recommend watching. I might come back to this topic from a different angle sometime. And as always, if you feel something is missing (which I am sure there is) or you have questions, just get in touch and let me know, I always enjoy feedback.
On a final note I would like to share this stunningly beautiful poem by Mario de Andrade with you:
I counted my years and realized that I have less time to live by, than I have lived so far.
I feel like a child who won a pack of candies: at first, he ate them with pleasure but when he realized that there was little left, he began to taste them intensely.
I have no time for endless meetings where the statutes, rules, procedures and internal regulations are discussed, knowing that nothing will be done.
I no longer have the patience to stand absurd people who, despite their chronological age, have not grown up.
My time is too short: I want the essence; my spirit is in a hurry. I do not have much candy in the package anymore.
I want to live next to humans, very realistic people who know how to laugh at their mistakes and who are not inflated by their own triumphs and who take responsibility for their actions. In this way, human dignity is defended and we live in truth and honesty.
It is the essentials that make life useful.
I want to surround myself with people who know how to touch the hearts of those whom hard strokes of life have learned to grow with sweet touches of the soul.
Yes, I’m in a hurry. I’m in a hurry to live with the intensity that only maturity can give.
I do not intend to waste any of the remaining desserts. I am sure they will be exquisite, much more than those eaten so far.
My goal is to reach the end satisfied and at peace with my loved ones and my conscience.
We have two lives and the second begins when you realize you only have one.