Love Is A Verb

Twenty20 / keila.dezeeuw

To love—that is an action, a movement our thought. Sometimes the act happens unconsciously, like closing your eyes and praying for someone as they get into their car. Sometimes it’s more intentional, like choosing to smile even when you’re angry, or lowering your voice when you want to scream.

Love is something physical, something chemical happening between your body and brain when you think of a person, when you’re in proximity, when you feel their touch or hear their voice or even imagine where they are and how they’re feeling when you’re hours and miles and time zones apart.

To love is to do, to feel, to become. Love is not passive, or still. Love is continual movement and change and growth—adapting to fit, making space in your heart for someone else.

But as humans we make so many damn excuses. We become infatuated with someone. We fall for the physical. We get wrapped up in the moment with another person, believing we’ve encountered love simply because we’re finally feeling something, simply because we’ve spent the majority of our days pushing everyone away, distancing from anything genuine, so much that anything remotely affectionate feels like the real thing.

So we spin ourselves in circles around people until we’re dizzy. We put all our heart into a connection before we even know where it’s going. And then, when this ‘love’ fades and we’re faced with the choice—to build, to grow, to truly find and make love happen—we balk. We make excuses. We point fingers at the other person, saying he or she wasn’t ready, didn’t care, wasn’t ‘the one.’ We blame ourselves, saying it’s ‘just not the right time,’ or we have to ‘find or fix ourselves’ before we can truly let someone in.

But the truth is, we’re just lying to ourselves. We confuse lust and infatuation with the real thing. We mistake giddiness for commitment. We run before we can experience anything meaningful.

We think love is supposed to be simple, easy, and we so easily forget that real relationships require patience and work.

Loving someone is hard. Not the unconscious feeling. Not the way your heart seems to know, seems to belong with someone else. Not the way you smile without thinking, or kiss with the entirety of your body and soul. But the choice part, the deliberate part, the part that decides to move forward and continue to care about someone, no matter the obstacle or change or distance that may come between. That’s hard.

Because love is not a one-time thought or feeling. It’s a continual action, continual choice, continual promise to another person. Love is a verb.

Love is looking at someone and deciding that you want to love them even when they mess up, even when they fall down, even when they’re not the same person, even when they fight with you or make you cry. Love is kissing someone and finding ways to be passionate towards them, even when there are a thousand distractions, even when there are ‘prettier’ or ‘hotter’ or ‘more attractive’ people just out of reach.

Love is choosing to push away temptation and focusing on who your person is and how the two of you can grow together. Love is walking away from people and things that hinder who you two have the potential to become.

Love is movement—towards one another, even through the chaos of this life. Love is active—searching for ways to be closer, to understand, to meet halfway.

To love is to do. To choose one another, and never stop. TC mark

Marisa Donnelly

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

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