I was chatting with my son Özün the other day.

I told him, “I love you and your sister both very much. But it’s not like the love I have for you is equally divided 50-50. I love you both 100%.” He listened to me carefully.

“Do you know how this is possible?” I asked. “Love cannot be divided. It’s like a candle. There is a huge candle in my heart. Your sister’s candle came and began to burn, and then your candle came and began to burn. Did my flame diminish? Or did it divide in two?”

He smiled and said, “No.”

“That’s exactly what love is like,” I said. “With the candle in your heart, you can light up as many candles as you like.” He smiled in response.

I then continued, “But loving someone very much does not necessarily mean you’re supposed to get along with them as well. You can love someone very much, but you may not get along very well. This doesn’t mean you do not love them, though. You could get along with another person, too, but this doesn’t mean you love this person more than the other one. It simply means you get along better. Because love never changes, the flame will always burn.”

His eyes were shining bright. I knew that he had understood and embraced this. He was learning this at age 11, while I had to learn it at age 43. Until 43, I puzzled over love and relationships. I used to beat myself up wondering why I couldn’t have a good relationship with someone I loved, or I would doubt love itself because my relationship went down the drain. There were times when I thought my love skyrocketed because the relationship was in a flow, but actually, the candle was always burning…

Hasan Sonsuz