I have often said that I believe you learn the most about yourself inside the confines of a romantic relationship.
I’m not sure exactly why that is. Maybe because you have someone constantly calling you out on your shit. Maybe because you go through the phase where you change yourself to meet that person’s desires, and then slowly become comfortable going back to being completely who you are. Maybe because the love you feel in a relationship pushes you to be the best version of yourself, for that other person. Whatever the reason, I believe everything I truly know about who Kelsea is at her core, I discovered within a relationship.
So why am I bringing this up? What have I recently discovered that I thought would be worth blogging about?
Well. I think most emotions are fleeting. Anger. Lust. Pride. Entitlement. These superficial moods kind of tend to pass away just as quickly as they’ve come on. But for the short tenure of time that they are rapturing your brain, they pretend as if they are staying for a long while. They hang up drapes in your soul-apartment and start filling up drawers. As the ultimate Emotional Landlord, it’s important to know that you are renting space to these inconsistencies, not selling to them. There is really only one land-owner in your spirit, and it should be Love.
I recently got in a pretty large fight with my dear Wesley.
Whatever. Fights happen. Relationships grow during arguments, yah?
But when the fight wass over, when the dust had settled, when the two of us just plain ol’ reached a point of not having the energy to argue anymore—we were both only left with love. All I could concentrate on was that I love him. That my heart sings the same song his does. That I didn’t want to be right or proud anymore. I just wanted him. I just wanted Love.
It’s an interesting boat to be in. Once Love enters your “building” again, you regret letting all of those other guys come put their drapes up and unpack their suitcases. You do everything you can to remove any sign of them ever being there again.
But what if we just evicted them for good? What if we just invited Love to stay forever, and never leave. What if when Anger and Entitlement and Pride came knocking… we just didn’t answer? What would that look like?
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
The trade-off is that when we choose Love first and Love only, we are opening ourselves up to vulnerability. Pure, unadulterated vulnerability. The possibility of being “wrung out” and broken. Such a scary notion. We are handing over the keys of our soul-building to something and asking it, very kindly, not to fuck anything up. But often times it does. So, rather than allowing that to happen—the quick and easy answer is to subscribe to these temporary tenants… these defense mechanisms… these fleeting, fallible emotions.
Here’s why I think, despite the risk, I think you should choose Love.
- Love always wins. In the war of whatever this life is that we are waging—love is always the champion, always the victor. It may not always appear that that is the case. When you get cheated on, when you family crumbles, when you lose the job, when you’re not where you expected to be. Here’s the comfort I will offer to you when it appears that love is causing you to lose:
“We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
And as I’m sure you’ve already realized, the pain you felt in those circumstances, DOES subside and a blessing usually pops up on the other side
- Defense Mechanisms Do Not Do Their Job. If you consider everything that you supplement the “love” in your life with when you’ve been wronged (Pride. Anger. Bitterness. Etc.) you will notice that not only are these things flimsy and thin and unsubstantial—but that you need a multitude of them to fill the hole that Love has left. They simply do not work. They simply do not compare. They simply fail you. They may look and feel good. Having some kind of emotion to attach yourself to may feel right, but I promise it isn’t.
- You Are Called To. It’s no secret that I am a Christian. Maybe not your definition of that word, but nonetheless, I subscribe to that idealology. The Bible commands every living, breathing, human being on this planet to LOVE. Period. And, in my opinion, if you really read and dig into the Bible, it’s only message is Love. To love through service and selflessness. To love others as you love yourself. To love hardest when you’ve been wronged. And even if this is Biblical/Christian packaging isn’t something you answer to—theologians, poets, artists, politicians all throughout history has echoed this same sentiment.
“Love is that condition in the human spirit so profound that it allows me to survive, and better than that, to thrive with passion, compassion, and style.” -Maya Angelou
“If nothing saves us from death, at least love should save us from life” -Pablo Neruda
“Love is the whole and more than all.” -EE Cummings
“The day that man allows true love to appear, those things which are well made will fall into cofusion and will overturn everything we believe to be right and true.” -Dante Alighieri – The Divine Comedy
So I will urge you as I urge myself to consciously choose love in the moments when it seems like the least logical and most unrational. Because our emotions are unreliable and fleeting and often, just dumb. But you will never regret choosing to love. You will never have to apologize for loving. You will never lose with love.