Lately I have had time on my hands to think. There is a lot of thinking time on the shores of Lake Superior. One of my more recent thoughts was that I have been seriously neglecting this blog and on the heels of that I started thinking about love. I have had a lot going on and there are reasons behind where my thoughts ran, but I don’t think that I will share those reasons quite yet. Suffice to say, I got to thinking about the fact that if you ever truly love, you open yourself up to having your heart broken into a million little pieces. Yet, each day people toss the word and the idea “love” around. I wonder if their definition of love is the same as mine?
The dictionary defines love in this way, as per Merriam-Webster
1a (1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties
- maternal love for a child
(2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers
- After all these years, they are still very much in love.
(3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests
- love for his old schoolmates
b : an assurance of affection
3a : the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration
- baseball was his first love
b (1) : a beloved person : darling—often used as a term of endearment
(2) British —used as an informal term of address
4a : unselfish loyal and benevolent (see benevolent 1a) concern for the good of another: such as
(1) : the fatherly concern of God for humankind
(2) : brotherly concern for others
b : a person’s adoration of God
8: a score of zero (as in tennis)
Well, that certainly covers all angles I guess. I found another definition that I liked better when I was searching for quotes to use in today’s post.
“Love is always patient and kind. It is never jealous. Love is never boastful or conceited. It is never rude or selfish. It does not take offense and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins, but delights in the truth. It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.”
― Anonymous, Holy Bible: New International Version
I sat and thought about exactly what this quote said and what it meant for some time. I see so many people that think that love and marriage are both disposable. They fight often, are jealous of one another and use their relationships to better their own self image. And the last sentence struck me as particularly profound. “It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.” That is a tall order, especially today when we expect instant gratification for everything that we do. To endure. To trust. To me, those were the things that I wanted to achieve in my life…with anyone that I loved. My kids, my husband, my good friends, my dog… Love is work. To endure, to last, that is something that we should all shoot for. I always wanted to spend a lifetime letting the ones that I love know just how much I love them. I Always wanted them to know that they were in my heart forever. I Always wanted them to know that I was here for them, for the long haul. If that meant sailing through choppy waters, well, I had a life jacket. If it meant letting them go their own way and trusting that they could find their way back, well, I made sure that they had a map.
The thing that saddens me is that so many younger people will never fully realize what love really could be. They are too busy shielding their hearts to realize that they have to risk getting their hearts broken into a million pieces to have that kind of love. They look up to those that have marriages that last for decades yet they are afraid to put in the work. They have to be ready to risk it all to gain everything. Will you get hurt? Of course. For me, I would take all of the hurt a million times over just to have one memory of a love like that. I would cry an ocean of tears to be part of something that wonderful. No matter how fleeting it is, it is worth the ride. It is worth the pain…if it is a true love, it is worth the risk. You will never know who you could be if you don’t open yourself up to the risks that come with actually living life in the moment. I could come up with a thousand quotes and sayings on this topic, but what it all boils down to is, don’t be a spectator in your own life. (Thank Nickleback for that quote :)) And the greatest thing that you can ever do in this life is to love and be loved by another. To fully put another’s needs in front of your own. To think about someone else before yourself. To give of yourself unconditionally. If you can manage that…well, that may just be a moment of grace.
I hope that each one of you will find a love like that. Whether it is from another person, from an animal or from a passion that you have. Open your heart to heartbreak. Take a chance…Risk It All. You never know…You may gain more than you ever imagined that you would. I hope you all have an amazing day and I will talk to you again soon.
Here are a couple of shots for you today.