Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Four Letter Word

I grew up in a home where there was lots of cursing. I consider myself a "cursing Christian" and am always happy when I meet a fellow CC :). I find cursing to be theraputic and actually once read an article in a health magazine that said studies show that people who swear are less stressed than people who don't. So that's a good thing! But the four letter word I am talking about today is not a "swear word."

Love is a four letter word.

It's amazing to me how something so amazing and precious and beautiful as love can also bring so much hurt and pain and devastation. There are so many people around me who are experiencing great heartache because of love. Relationships are severed. Strained. Longed for. Complicated. And sometimes, the cynic in me wonders if love is really worth it. Is it really worth all the pain and heartache?

We grow up (especially us girls) watching Disney Princess movies and having fairy tales read to us. And in all of these stories they have one common theme. The girl's life is terrible, but she meets a "handsome prince" and he rescues her, they fall in love and live happily ever after. So because we are fed this over and over and over and over again as we grow up we believe that this is how love works. That our life will be better when we fall in love and that we will be content and happy if we are loved and in love. WHAT A LOAD OF BULLSH*T!!!

Love is not about being happy all the time. It is not all about lust and passion and romance. It is not being swept off your feet and being rescued by prince charming. That is not love. Those things can be a byproduct of love, sure. But love is so much more than that. Love is hard work because people are people and that means that we all make mistakes, we say things we don't mean, we don't say things we do mean, we hurt each other from time to time. We all have baggage and issues! Love is not a cure for those issues. Love is about sacrifice. Love is fighting when you'd rather ignore the issue. Love is dying to self. Love is supporting someone in a time of need even though they've hurt you in the past. Love is forgiveness. Love is accepting someone for all of who they are - the good and the bad. Love is not easy. A dear friend of mine always says. "Love is in the details." And I so agree with that.

The definition of love is: a deep, enduring, emotional regard for another person.

To me, the key word in that definition is enduring. To endure means to suffer patiently. Ouch! Who wants to do that? But if we say we love someone that means we must not only take the good (romance, joy, friendship, connection), but we must also be willing to suffer patiently in order to have the good. As scary as this kind of love sounds - I want it! I want it in all of my relationships with my friends. I want it with the man who will some day be my husband. I want to suffer patiently for him and for him to do the same.

Love is a four letter word. Sometimes it sucks. Sometimes it hurts. But for the right person, it is so worth it.

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