It's currently 11:56 p.m. on a Monday night, and I probably have to be up early tomorrow morning. Am I sleepy? Not at all. Am I going to bed anytime soon? Probably not. I just finished a series on Netflix, Gypsy (not going to give any spoilers, but if you do decide to watch it, be prepared for a whole lot of mystery, unexpected twists, and a slow unraveling to the plot...the ending will also make you furious). All in all, it's a good show. The main character goes through an identity/power struggle, and therefore has problems committing to the wrong people. Gypsy had me thinking a whole lot about love, and what it exactly is.
To be honest, I still don't entirely know. I couldn't give you an exact definition. What I do know is, when I see or hear that four letter word, I think about the hour long face-time conversations with my best friends who are thousands of miles away, and my sister's random hugs. I think about people who genuinely take the time out of their day to see me, whether it's for a lunch date or a brief, 15-minute visit. It makes me think about that one night my friends frantically helped me pack my life away in boxes before I had to get on a plane and move back home the next day. The nights where a friend and I would walk to Trader Joe's, throw what was probably the entire store in our shopping cart, and cook our own version of fancy dinners. I think of super late nights during freshman year when everyone was struggling during final exams, crowded in a study room in the library, but still continued to give one another support (and buy each other food.. the struggle was real). I think of my roommates, who have some sort of surprise (whether that's sticky notes all over my wall or some chocolate on my desk) when I come home from an exhausting day of classes.
Sometimes, love can be complicated. But it really doesn't have to be. Love tends to become overcomplicated because sometimes we associate it with a temporary feeling. That's where everything goes wrong--if love is associated with a temporary feeling, love will ultimately become temporary.
Love is so much more than that. Love is an action--a commitment.
I know I said earlier that I still don't really know what love is. But from my past experiences of receiving an overwhelming sense of compassion as well as giving to others, I have a pretty good idea that love is caring for others. It's forgiving; It's accepting the person for who they are no matter their past or their flaws. It's continuing to show them support and having open ears--even if you're exhausted and want to sleep for the next three days. It's being strong for the other person regardless of what they're going through. It's staying up with your best friend and letting her vent with a pint of that fancy Talenti gelato in one hand and a box of tissues in the other no matter how late it is. It's also happiness. It's wanting to share the most amazing experiences you ever had with that person. It's having a thousand photographs with endless laughs and timeless memories. It's visiting every museum in D.C. on a Saturday afternoon just because you want to.
Love has commonly been seen as something very difficult to come by. And, well, as mentioned before, it can become complicated if we make it complicated. It's hard to love someone when you're hurt, or you haven't come to terms with loving yourself. In order to be able to give someone that time and commitment, you must love yourself first, and be perfectly fine with opening yourself up to others. How are you supposed to give love if you don't have any to begin with in the first place? How are you supposed to love when you can't open your heart to receive love?
"Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these." --Mark 12:31
Don't make love temporary. Don't shut it out of your life. Let yourself love life, you, and others. It's a beautiful thing--it's what keeps the world running. Let's continue to build each other up instead of tearing each other down. Let's try to come together to find a solution instead of arguing over who's more right. Let's talk it out in person, rather than lashing out on social media. Let's work together, become a team, and help each other out. Let's not one-up the other. Let's remember to make time to see that person, otherwise they'll just be a person to you, and nothing else. Let's continue to love.