‘Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.’
This the kicker, isn’t it? The end all statement that kind of sums up the selflessness of love, for me. It is a willingness to be ground to the ground, for love of someone else. We who are so quick to stand up for our rights, our happiness and our pursuits are so quick to forget what those words actually mean and the power they give us. Bl. Pope John Paul II once said, ” Freedom consists in not doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought”. Similarly, love is not doing or having done to us what we like or desire, it’s a willingness to do unto others as you want done to you.
This is why people who come up with excuses for cheating or abuse aggravate me so much. I can only hope they will never pass on their insecurities and cowardice. There is no glory or bravery in breaking the heart of someone who loved you and trusted you, only shame, regret and cowardice. It doesn’t take any bravery or spine to cheat or abuse, that’s easy to do…seriously, anyone can do it! It also doesn’t take much to steal someone else’s guy/girl…its easy to make some one’s eyes wander. What is strong and brave and worthy of praise, is the self-control, love and dedication is takes to respect the commitment a man/woman has chosen to make and to choose to stay faithful to that promise despite whatever hiccup is thrown your way. It is a testament to your manhood and strength to use your strength to protect rather than abuse those weaker than you. I can beat up someone 50 lbs lighter than me too, doesn’t prove I’m right/better, just that I’m a fool with self-control issues. To you cheaters/mistresses etc, you deserve the whole, faithful and unfaltering love of a human being and you should NEVER settle for anything less than that, no matter what anyone has told you to make you think otherwise. To those suffering, if you need help with abuse, reach out and knock on every door until you get help from one.
Remember always that love is not found in the hugs, kisses, holding hands or even the more intimate things, those should all only be manifestations of something deeper, symptoms of the disease, so to speak. This is why I don’t believe love happens until there is conversation and interaction. You don’t look across a room and fall in love, that’s lust/like. How can you say you love someone when you don’t even know his/her name? Love grows from knowledge and reality. This is why I think friendships are the best platform for love. When you are friends with someone, there’s very little pretense and smoothing things over (compared to dating). You are real and unapologetic with a friend. You get to know someone deeper and truer as a friend than even family, sometimes.
So my advice to younger teens is, got a crush on someone? Be their friend first. You’ll see the good but you’ll also see the rough spots and the secrets and the crazy and after all that, if you decide you want to be with this person for a lifetime, go for it, but if you realize this is not what you thought at first, you can always just stay friends. This is why your teenage years are an awesome time to get to know things and to learn. So stop jumping into “love” when you don’t even know what that word means yet and instead make friends, lot of friends, guys and girls. You will learn much more about life and people from those friendships than from a series of years wasted pining after boy after boy or girl after girl. Girls, you will learn how boys think, and how they feel about girls who are ‘just a lay’ vs girls who are ‘take home to mom’ material. I will never forget my PE teacher who said to us in HS, “Boys use love to get sex ,and girls use sex to get love”. Never forget that girls, in fact its the easiest way to check if a boy is a douche or not. Tell a guy ‘no’ and see how he reacts to it….over dramatic break up or whining? Maybe he didn’t see into your heart and soul after all.
I never understood this fear of friend zone and no mature girl should consider this a valid thing. A friend is a good thing to be. Guys, if you are friends with a mature girl, she will see the validity of a mature relationship coming out a friendship and won’t be restricted to what society tells her she should do. And girls, if you are friends with a guy who complains he’s in the ‘friend zone’ and could never have a chance at a relationship or considers it undesirable to be your friend, then you know he’s not ready for a mature relationship so don’t even go there. Do you know how many couples I’ve heard of, who chose to be friends for years and when they felt it was time to maybe pursue a relationship, they did that and then got married? How lucky they are to be married to their best friend, someone who knows them through and through and not just the pretty painted picture before marriage. Also, I doubt a spouse who was a friend will ever say things like ‘she stopped trying to look good after the marriage’ etc. Friends have seen you at your best and your worst and who better to spend a life with than someone who’s been with you through it all and can always put a smile on your face?
I wish you the truest and strongest of all love, God himself. May his example be one we learn from every day.