“That is love. To give up money like it is nothing.”
– Alba Villanueva, Jane the Virgin
I admit that I was not expecting to cry as much as I have watching Jane the Virgin. The show has some surprisingly straightforward and honest conversations which the actors pull off with genuine sincerity – and I find myself tearing up involuntarily.
After seeing the episode in which Jane’s grandmother reminisces about Jane’s grandfather’s giving up his family’s wealth for her, I spent the next few days unpacking her statement in my head.
There is something powerful about selfless sacrifice in the face of uncertainty that sends me crumbling to my knees. I am completely undone at the thought of a man whose identity is completely wrapped up in his wealth and power, simply casting it away in the hope of grasping at something much more intangible. It is easy to romanticize the gesture, but not as easy to swallow the consequences and implications.
I am reminded of what I find my own identity in. My accomplishments, my wealth and possessions, my pride, my talents – and how I spend so much of my time cultivating, preening, investing in them so that I can add layers to the deception that these are what are truly important. Would I so easily throw them away for good after taking so much care of them and reaping their benefits?
For what is being cast aside is not treasure that can be re-assembled or re-procured, but an actual donning of a new identity: the transformation into lover, one who is willfully incomplete without the connection to another – a relationship susceptible to volatility, instability, and destruction. To give up certainty for only the possibility of something greater – because his love is so great and reckless, he will burn all his ties to royalty, sell all his possessions, and commune with the lowest of the low, if only to win over a fickle and yearning person – this is the kind of sacrificial love that we see at work here. And the beauty of it is that the lover sees priceless worth in whom he pursues.
We will only give up what is precious when we seek what is priceless. May we have eyes to see.