To love is to live, I believe that, but what is love, I used to think that love was hearts, flowers and romance, but really that isn’t what love is, that’s a distraction from what love really is, that’s a selfish connotation of what love is. A side step, a money making scheme, a ploy perhaps.
The first time I truly saw the truth of love written, it was in a place I never expected to find it, a place I shied away from and ran from as fast as my chubby little legs would carry me.
The bible; God says :
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
New International Version (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
I fail at love.
I’m not patient; I rush head long into everything, hating to wait, not wanting to stop and think it through, the result being that I have made many bad choices in my life, choices I should have learned from but which sadly I often didn’t.
I try to be kind, I do, I don’t want to be a horrible person but the reality is there are those people that just rub me up the wrong way and when they do, oh, I get mad. I hate on them and I moan about them and sometimes I secretly wish a big old bus would come along and squat them in the road. That’s not kind, not at all and it isn’t enough to be kind to the people who are easy to like, you have to be kind to everyone.
It does not envy. Wow! it gets even tougher, because I do envy, I envy the person with the really cute juicy couture bag that I want so bad, I envy people with close families, bestselling authors and well, the list goes on and on.
It does not boast, did I mention that I have just got my first publishing deal, on a novel? I am so proud of myself, oh wait, it is not proud, that’s another one isn’t it, the next one in fact.
Ok I am not gonna torture you with the full list the reality is I fail fail and fail again. There is not a single thing on that list that I do not fail at or have not failed at.
But I do believe that is what love is. Love is when you stop thinking only of yourself and you start thinking of others, specifically your partner, but ultimately people in general.
I don’t think it is possible to achieve the perfection above, but I do believe it is possible to strive to try.
I mean imagine how different things would be in this world if we all strived to try, when it came to that list of things and how much better the world would be.
But beside the world, when we look closer to home, it’s clear that even for our smaller circles of friends and acquaintances, striving to try makes a whole lot of difference.
You don’t have to be a Christian to see that, what the bible say’s about love is true and when I look back at how I have loved, there is failure stamped all over it.
Because the reality is I was so concerned with what I felt the people in my life weren’t doing for me, that I failed to see what I wasn’t doing for them.
The result of that is that time and time again, I trampled all over the feelings of the people I cared about most, my friends, my partner and my family.
When I truly stop and think about it, I see that I need to stop worrying about what I think others should be doing and instead just worry about what I need to be doing.
I’m not gonna say this is a new discovery; I’ve been trying this for a while now. Some days I succeed and some days I fail, epically so. There have also been times where i’ve just wanted to give up altogether.
I guess it’s kinda like dieting, if you set out thinking I’ll do this till I lose all the weight then start enjoying whatever I want again, you’re very quickly gonna find yourself right back where you started. But if you accept that you need to make a permanent life change, allowing yourself only the occasional indulgence and understanding that your gonna fail every once in a while, but that doesn’t have to make you give up all together, then you’re really in with a chance.
I can’t say that I’m ever going to be perfect, I think that’s an unattainable goal, but I do want to be better.
Life is complex, scary, and difficult that’s unlikely to ever change, yes they’ll be moments of laughter but ultimately there is always going to be a risk that bad things could happen, I don’t want to be the person creating those bad moments in others lives certainly not the ones I care about and I am unbelievably ashamed that I have done so in the past.
I don’t wanna say to anyone who reads this “you’re are doing it all wrong,” because the reality is only we, ourselves can know that, but I do wanna say that it’s worth looking back at your life, at the times you’ve been less than kind, a little to boastful, lied or turned your back on a person who was crying out for your time, or help and ask yourself what if someone had done that to you? How would you have felt? And then last but far from least, do you want to be that person anymore?
And if the answer is No, then maybe you should strive to try too.
Love and hugs all