I’ve been pondering love recently, for obvious reasons. Not oh-my-gosh-I-love-chocolate kind of love. Real love. Love that makes you think.
I recently found this post on 60 Tiny Love Stories. Love is always something that I’ve either wanted more than anything else in the world or could care less as to whether or not it happens to me. I’ve hated love a few times in my life as well. Isn’t that what they say: hate isn’t the opposite of love, apathy is? I guess I’ve filled the gamut.
And it used to startle me when I saw love that is too good to be true. When an elderly couple still has it going on even after 40 years of marriage. When my newly married friends are working on their relationship more than some of the other relationships that I’ve seen for years.
And now that I’m in a relationship of my own, love has been on my mind a good deal. Stephen is starting seminary on August 18. Which means we now see when we have to end our relationship. Whether temporarily or permanently, we still aren’t completely sure, but either way it has to end.
And that breaks my heart. It renders me paralyzed by fear and loss and I can’t imagine my life without him in it.
But then I’m reminded of how much we love each other. And possibly the biggest lesson I’ve learned in this relationship is that love is not defined by circumstance. Loving someone isn’t only allowed in relationships where your status with that person is clearly defined.
If Stephen and I don’t end up together, that doesn’t mean I’ll love him any less. He will always be the love of my life, no matter our circumstances. And maybe he will become a priest and love the church and maybe I will marry some other guy later in my life. But that won’t change how much I love him or how important he is to me.
I’m coming to realize that love is a lot stronger than we think. The ability to truly love someone seems impossible, but very often, love does all the work for you if you choose to commit every single day. We choose to love and we choose to act on that love.