Thursday, February 14, 2013

What love is...

I'm not a religious person.  Never have been, really.  Even when we got married in the Catholic Church and jumped through all the requisite hoops, we did it more for family than for ourselves.  

Other people wanted us to get married in the Church.  We just wanted to get married. 



It's funny looking back from this place I'm in now.  When we were engaged, we had to take personality tests and go on marital retreats and meet with priests.  The tests we took back then claimed we had almost complete compatibility on everything except faith.  

The tests were wrong.  We were naive to believe in them.  We were naive to believe that love was enough or ever would be.  

Mostly, though, we were just naive.

It so happens that we were also lucky for a long time.  Life threw us plenty of curveballs and we weathered storms with grace together, until we didn't anymore.  I'll never be quite sure how or why the undoing began, but it did.  So quietly and so small at first that we didn't notice.  By then, we were busy, and didn't realize that our naive notion of love wasn't enough.  

Or maybe we did. Who knows?

Either way, the damage was done.  The imagined world we thought we had disappeared, and we were left with whatever this is.  Different.  Tarnished.  Flawed.  Broken.  

In that broken space, though, that is where true love exists.  

True love doesn't come only when it's easy.  True love doesn't come only when it is new and exciting. True love doesn't demand the perfect set of circumstances to endure. True love isn't self serving and spiteful.

True love is what was reflected all those years ago, when we included this passage in our wedding ceremony.

Love is patient.  Love is kind.  Love does not envy or boast. Love is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. ~Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is patient.  It waits.  It lets someone have more time than they should need to figure things out. It gives second chances. It opens the door again.

Love is kind.  It empathizes.  It hurts for them.  It worries about them.  It worries for them.  It loves them, not just as a lover, but as a person.

Love does not envy or boast.  It is trusting, even when trust seems impossible.  Impassable.  It is brave enough to step onto that road again, this time with eyes open.  

Love is not arrogant or rude.  It is humble.  It is human.  It knows it's own flaws and forgives those in the other.  

Love does not insist on it's own way.  It knows that rules and restrictions and demands are incompatible with free will. Only through free choice can love be true.

Love is not irritable or resentful.  Love forgives. Love moves on.  I need to work on this one more.

Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Amen.  Truth shall set you free, and it shall be the only path to a complete love. Truth sometimes hurts, but it always hurts less than a lie.

Love bears all things.  Yes.  Infinity.  Love tests us in ways we could have never imagined.

Love believes all things.  Without it, there would be nothing to believe in. 

Love hopes all things. It must.  I cling to hope sometimes out of necessity.  Without it, there would be nothing else.

Love endures all things.  This is where that hope portion comes into play.  I have to hope that it can, believe that it can, trust that it can.

Love never ends.  

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One of the most profound quotes I've come across in this past year is this:

The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. ~ Elie Wiesel

Hate may chip away at our souls, it may make us rage, it may bring us to our knees, but it also means that we still love the other person enough to care.  

I'm not indifferent, I never have been.  I've loved and I've hated, sometimes all at once.  

I'm not naive.  Not anymore.  

I am hopeful that I've figured out finally what love truly is.  

I'm hopeful that we have.

Happy Valentine's Day.


6 comments:

  1. Simply beautiful lady! Happy Valentine's Day!

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  2. Relationships are hard. So is love!

    xoxox

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  3. I love this. Love is never easy and true love is the love that last through the hardest trials and still grows, year after year. Once again, I feel like you're inside my brain <3

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  4. Two of my favorite quotes as well. Well said. Happy Valentine's Day! - Laura

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  5. Hi pretty lady! I've been missing your blog like crazy. It's good to be back and catching up! And it also makes me jealous of your gifts as a writer, and a thinker. This is beautiful.

    I know it's almost a cliche passage, but I love Corinthians. Not as much as Ecclesiastes, but close. And I'm not even a super-religious person. Good call for Valentine's Day. Hoping you and your family have many more years of love!

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  6. I needed to read this. Thank you.

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