Love to Ramble

     Love.

     That damned four letter word.

     In my considerably event-filled life I've learned a lot about love.  When I was a kid, I knew my parents loved me...grandparents...thought maybe my brother and sister liked me...but what you come to expect as a child rarely carries over to reality.  I started reading novels at an early age and I was absolutely enthralled with the story of Heathcliff and Catherine from Wuthering Heights.  He was a rugged, stubborn, rough type and she was born of privilege and had a wild, free spirit.  Their situations never quite matched up, mostly because of family expectations and social status.  Ain't that something.  But we know that ultimately Catherine loved Heathcliff until her dying day, and Heathcliff remained distraught and obsessed for eternity.  Why, his soul is still walking the English moors to this day searching for his Catherine.

     So, that's the dramatic side of love.  And that's what you're introduced to when you're young; romantic novels and movies where the world just can't turn another day unless you're wrapped in the arms of your ONE TRUE LOVE.  Beautiful, and nauseating. 

     I found out pretty fast that this is not the general reality.  Let's just exclude the first few weeks of a hot new flame; hormones and ants in the pants do not count as love.

     My dad used to tell me "love is a commitment".  Pretty dry, yet much more true that I realized at the time.  And, unfortunately for me, commitment is something I've always been deathly afraid of.

     So, I've experienced all types of love.  The greatest love by far is the love that our Creator has for us.  "God is Love" speaks volumes if you're willing to think about it.

     I've experienced temporary love.  Which is nothing but lust with a nice hat.

     I've experienced love lost.  If you've ever experienced heartbreak, you know it is the worst, most tortured feeling in the world (see Heathcliff above).

     I've experienced false love.  This is really tricky especially in your teens and early 20s.  Usually the product of false advertisement.   

     I try and try to love everyone.  This is easier said than done, but once you make the decision to try, it will change your life.  Just start by finding a redeeming quality in even the most pompous of asses.

     I've experienced a pet's love.  You have a bad day, they still love you.  You forget to take them out, they still love you.  You push them away, they still love you. If anyone deserves to be loved, they do. Love them back.

     I've experienced true love.  This is where it gets good.  True love IS patient.  It IS kind.  It is NOT self-serving.  True love doesn't give 50% to meet the other in the middle; it goes 100% to make up for what the other lacks.  True love works to feed its family whether it's 100 degrees or 20.  True love doesn't point out flaws to make itself shine brighter.  It accepts, encourages, forgives, and most importantly, COMMITS.  See? my dad is a smart man.

     Definitely my favorite.  I've experienced a mother's love.  More powerful than any other force or feeling known to man, never ending, never compromising, ever sacrificing, and ever growing.  The love people remember long after you're gone.

     I'm not a kid anymore, but I still love Wuthering Heights.  I still love a good sappy story, and I still love a LITTLE relational drama every now and then.  I'm a romantic through and through, but I embrace the realities of love.  I've learned that the most profound element of love is the HUMAN element.  Imperfect, inconsistent, beautiful love.

     I hope you all get some of that tonight. Happy Valentine's Day.

Love, mm