On Love: Part I (Saying Yes to Love)

Hello, friends - how was your holiday weekend? I've been taking things easy around here as I get back in the swing of regular life again, so I've enjoying a bit of quiet on the Internet. 

As it's been a while since my last post, I thought I'd share one close to my heart that's been in my draft folder for a while. I wrote this many months ago after pondering deeply about love and how one can recognize it. Perhaps you too have pondered it. 

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Feelings are such tricky things.

Emotions. 

Stirrings of the heart.

There are some things that are so deep, so silent, and so sacred that they cannot even be spoken or thought in solid words.


Some things so sweet and still that they are guarded and held within us, in the quiet and safety of our hearts.

Love. So mysterious and wondrous and strange.  

Sometimes I think how strange it is - that I am so loving towards people, constantly pour love into them and my relationships with them, constantly laugh and smile and embrace them...

And yet when it comes to Love - the kind between a man and woman - I am so hesitant. And so afraid. I am afraid to consider or imagine that I love someone.

Love is so sacred and final and pure and overwhelming, I am automatically distrustful towards any possible inklings of it. 

And that was perhaps the most terrifying thing of all. I am so young...how could I possibly know what love is and what it feels like? It's only a fancy, a girlish feeling, I told myself. It didn't seem like it now, but I know I'll get over it. I have before. 

But that's just it. How would I know? When would I know it's more than just a fancy or temporary feeling? 

In other words, I was scared of my heart. I was terrified of love because I worried I wouldn't know it if I do experience it...I was terrified.

But, these years have taught me something. If we feel things sharply and deeply as young people caught between childhood and adulthood, it is in my twenties that I have come closer to a realization that is as bitter as it is sweet:

Love....is so much more than merely a fancy or a girlish crush. Because Love is so strong and true and different - it just is. Not butterflies and faster heartbeat, but a deep, solemn, almost grand expansion within me, like a song being sung that I have never before heard.

It both beautiful and frightening, safe and dangerous, steady and overwhelming, calm and chaotic, good and strengthening all at once.

It's not a 'tame' feeling.

When does it turn into love? When does it become real - this feeling that makes you smile when you see his face and the look in his eyes that makes you feel like you can do anything in the world and that he could look at anyone, but he chooses to look at you?

When does he become your story, your heart, your man? When does he become your all? 

When is it that you realize that you've been turned inside out, that part of you only comes to life when he smiles that special smile, and that the seasons come and go but there's only one person you want holding your hand through it all? 

When is it you realize how much you would die to self for their good, how much you would sacrifice for their happiness, how far you would follow them, how much a better person you wish to be because of them, and how much your heart is firmly tired to theirs that any distance tightens the string - bringing you closer to them than before? 

When? 

When do you realize you are in love? That you love him? 

When you do realize it is okay to love him?

Even when he doesn't love you back?

There are many possible answers. But one is, I think, when you are able to watch him walk away and fall in love with someone else - if that is what makes him happy. Even if it breaks your heart. Because beyond any feelings you have, you want him to be happy. Because love is sacrifice and doing what's best for the person. Because sometimes, things just aren't meant to be - and sometimes they are. Either way, it is the same. 

Because Love is putting someone else's needs before yours.

And as a wise little snowman once said, because some people are worth melting for. 

That's what I think, at least. Maybe one day I'll find out.

Comments

  1. I've thought the same thoughts before. How will I know it's love?
    You've answered it perfectly, my dear! Sacrifice is the truest and purest way to show someone you love them- a man died for my sake because of crazy beautiful love. And that's true love.
    ♥ Madysen

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    1. Thank you so much, dear! It wasn't even something I had really thought about until this past year - how do you KNOW it's love?

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  2. I love this post!!! It is amazing! You put it so well and I appreciate your vulnerability and honesty in posting it! Such a good one! :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Elizabeth Anne - it took a while to get up the courage to post it. Your kind words mean so much.

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  3. Have to second Elizabeth Anne. Vulnerability is key in love: "“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”- CS Lewis
    ♥ sami

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    1. Sam, that quote is so beautiful + so, so true. Thanks, lovely girl. ♥ ♥ ♥

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  4. This is the most beautiful beautiful thing. You said it perfectly. For me I think love is like the ocean. It comes in waves and little by little. You can dip your toes in and still be in the water but nowhere near the totality of it. And then suddenly you're swimming in it and it's so so deep. You don't think you could ever reach the bottom of it. It's enveloping and warm and relaxing and wonderful :)

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    1. Thank you, thank you, beautiful sister of mine in Christ. I think YOU said it perfectly....that is how love is. I think what is so beautiful is often we are, as Mr. Darcy said, "in the middle of it before I knew I'd begun." Or as John Greene said, "I fell in love like you fall in sleep - slowly at first, and then all at once." :)

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  5. <3 <3 <3 God bless you, girl.

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    1. Thanks, sweet friend. ♥

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  6. Oh man. ♥♥ This is absolutely beautiful... thank you SO much for posting it.
    ... and why don't you go write a Catholic relationship book RIGHT NOW. Seriously. I'd buy 'em all. ;)

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    1. Aw, thank you, Peregrin. Thank YOU for commenting. I love sharing things like this and hearing that it does indeed strike a cord with other girls. And I'd LOVE to write that book. ;)

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  7. I admire you for your vulnerability and heart SO MUCH. Each post, regardless of it's contents, leaves me in awe at your strength and willingness to share what is messy. As a reserved person, it's a huge push to get almost anything out of my head, but it's people like YOU that encourage me to try. Your writing touches people & it brings so many of us together, and I think together we can get a little stronger. So, thank you THANK YOU for being so open. You're changing the world with your words.

    I've realized how painful it can be to love over the past couple years. Sure there are those bright sunshiney moments, the ones that fill you up like nothing else, But Love is forgetting yourself. Like you said, it's wanting what is best for another, and that sacrifice-to completely put yourself aside, hurts. I am afraid to love too, unwilling to get too close and personal because of that hurt. That's no way to live though. Your post has given me some gems to think about and grow from. Thank you.

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  8. This is beautiful! Thank you for giving voice to the thoughts that I (and, I'm sure, countless others) have been thinking for quite some time.

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