I’ve always loved the idea of love, of “someone”. The idea of marriage, of starting a business, of having a pet, or becoming a mother. But the truth is, the idea is not the real thing because the real thing is no longer about me and what I want and how I want it to be. The real thing involves listening, and hard work. It involves commitment, sacrifice, investment. It involves sweat, a ton of patience, resisting the urge to run when things get hard. The real thing involves a life that is less about me and more about someone or something else, whoever or whatever that is for you. The boyfriend/girlfriend, the husband/wife, the client, the company, the dog, the child.
I am no longer buying into these ideas, especially the one that in order to be in relationship I must be whole. This is not to imply that a relationship will complete me; instead, this is suggesting that a relationship serves as a mirror into the depths of my soul-which allows me to see the FULL reflection of who I am: My own selfishness, my unhealed places, the scars; but also the magic, the goodness, and the treasure that is hidden underneath all the other crap.
In this season I am learning that love is less about my feelings and more about my choices: to be and to do the thing that is sometimes so hard to do, to go against my own selfish nature despite how uncomfortable that makes me, to stay present when I want to withdraw, to tell the truth when I’d rather lie. Love is a kiss in the middle of an argument, silence instead of shouting, patience when I feel misunderstood. Love is digging for strength instead of giving into temptation, apologizing for the sake of restoring, giving without expecting, having lunch with my father without taking out his list of wrongs that I keep in my pocket, and eventually throwing the list away.
Maybe God intended it this way. He understood the hopelessness of this world, and so He gave us the gift of love.
Maybe our purpose is to use this gift—to love so often and so well, we make of this world a work of art instead of a hopeless place.