the way of love.

What does it mean to love?

We admit we are afraid of commitment to another human being. We know the damage we can cause. We have seen the tears fall down their faces and we have felt the tears fall down our own. We know the hurt we are capable of inflicting and we run. We know if we are capable of such horrendous things, we are certain others are quite capable of these things too, so we run.  Some of us have locked away a precious part of our being in order to save ourselves from this pain and there are others who cause the hurt and never feel the pain - these are the people we fear and the people we fear we may become. We lock away our deepest emotions, lock away our deepest fears and the moment someone beckons these things to the surface, we run. 

One thing I am certain of is caring for another is hard work. I’m talking about a selfless sacrifice of yourself in order to accept someone else's selfless sacrifice of their self. The idea of giving someone else the ability to make you feel your most joyous moments and your most scarring pain is a scary thought. Just the thought that another person has the ability to make you laugh and cry all in the same night, it is no wonder we run. The risk you take by letting a friend cross that line into your heart, that place where only a few select are allowed to go. The risk is this will either be the person you spend the rest of your life with or you will never talk to them again. That is what we risk when we choose to love, when we let ourselves care for someone and allow them to care for us in return. 

All of this is enough to make our head spin. It is no wonder we live in a world that chooses lust over love. It is no wonder we choose to disconnect our emotion and our heart from our touch. It is no wonder we can kiss and never feel a thing. I know we were not designed to live like this. Something feels wrong when learn to separate our emotion from our actions. I don’t have a solution to this problem. I can’t say some magical line that will click in the minds of the masses for us to realize what we are doing. I wish more than anything that this was an easy fix. That this thing we call “love” was easy. We pass along our hurt to one another. When you decide to walk away you also make the decision to bury the heart of the person behind you. A man walks away from commitment and leaves a woman with a hard heart. And those two who took a small chance to open up their heart for just a moment both leave with a scar. Then, some time later, they each find another and repeat. Once again, they receive a scar and leave a scar. But this is not how it is suppose to be. And we know it.

We are made to love. We are created to have this unexplainable connection between us and another human being. We are designed to commit ourselves to someone else. We weren’t created to fear, or lust, or run, or hide but to love. But we choose fear over love because we believe by doing so we are protecting ourselves and others when in reality our heart just takes another hit.

We know love is supposed to be beautiful. We know love is supposed to conquer all and encourage us in our endeavors. We know love is supposed to be the thing that holds the moving pieces together, brings peace to the storms, and draw us closer to one another. We know love is supposed to bring out the best in us and drive us to do the most powerful things. We know love is supposed to be a daring adventure and make us smile until our stomachs are sore. We know love is a beautiful mess. So why do we hurt more than we heal?

The reason for so much hurt is we aren’t willing to do what is required of true love. You want to love? This is what it takes! You’re tired of this fake selfish “love”? This is what it takes! You say the words “I love you” … do you really? Because this is what it takes! 

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

   Love never gives up. 
   Love cares more for others than for self. 
   Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. 
   Love doesn’t strut, 
   Doesn’t have a swelled head, 
   Doesn’t force itself on others, 
   Isn’t always “me first," 
   Doesn’t fly off the handle, 
   Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, 
   Doesn’t revel when others grovel, 
   Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, 
   Puts up with anything, 
   Trusts God always, 
   Always looks for the best, 
   Never looks back, 
   But keeps going to the end. Love never dies. (MSG) 

Following the rules of love doesn't mean it comes without pain and vulnerability. This list is hard and we are selfish people. Of course there will be some pain, some tears, some molding, shaping and changing of our hearts. No doubt this will be the most difficult and rewarding thing your heart will ever do. Don’t love too soon and don’t wait until it is too late. Know what is required of you before you love and require the same in return. Fight for the real deal because love is the most beautiful thing on this planet. 

Rachel Fenimore