Can We Love Beyond “The Death of the Self”?

Is it possible to love someone without foisting upon them any static or fixed constructs?  Is it possible to love someone beyond all the inner change that they may experience?  What is it when we love someone, or have a profound fondness for someone, to the point where we might say that this love or admiration is unconditional?

I wonder if those that may love me, or admire me, or have a fondness for me… I wonder what they see exactly.  Not in any self-deprecating way, but rather, almost out of fear or anxiousness, I wonder if or whether their love might be shaken.  I think of all the passing thoughts that might disconfirm their idea of who I am, or leave them disillusioned as to who I might be.  I think of the kind of dissonance… I might wonder how we got here… I might even feel resentment at having these opinions or beliefs foisted upon me, as they implicitly are… almost out of necessity.  I suppose we need order and structure in the world.

So yes, at times I might feel caged even, silenced, unable to speak, lest I break this perception of who I am… And I wonder then if I’m complicit in this lie, helping to build this stage, adorn this mask, or help reinforce and delineate the confines that I now find myself in.  And what a villain I might feel like – if I were to suddenly act in a way that juts against or offends their prior belief of who I am… as if in this moment of honesty I reveal myself to have been playing a mere role or acting disingenuously this entire time.  It’s something of a laugh.  At other times it’s of course quite painful.

So I wonder, how might we love someone?  Is there some kernel we can grasp on to, or can we love an insubstantial self.  How do we love beyond the death of the self?  How do we give our lover the same freedom we might ask in return?  What might hold us together beyond a mutual agreement?  Can we have a meeting of two souls?

Maudlin and a little mawkish, but I think the question stands.