Wednesday, May 07, 2008

"Can you make yourself love? Can you make yourself be loved?" ~Ann Brashares

Interesting question, yes? In my opinion, love just happens. You just love the child that you bring into the world. You just love your parents. You just love your siblings. You just love your best friend. You just love your partner. Even if something happens between you and any one of the above, you still love one another. It is also my humble opinion that love never really goes away. It may change according to the varying seasons of life. It may wane for a time, but true love never goes away.

I know from personal experience that you cannot make someone love you. Nor do you want to have to make them love you. It is far better to have a natural love than a forced one. Yet, as humans, we sometimes yearn for that one person to love us more or better than anyone else. The one person who cannot (or just will not) love us like we want them to. There can be a myriad of reasons, none of which we want to listen to or accept. Still the reasons are there, staring us down. Daring us to argue. And being the fallen creatures that we are, we argue. We argue until we are blue in the face. We cry until we have no more tears. We feel the hurt and pain until we can feel no more. And even then, there are those of us who cannot give up. Who must argue on. And argue we do. This can go on for days, weeks, months, years. It goes on until we accept the fact that the love is not there and never will be. And still the feelings linger. We still love. We still feel the, arguably less intense, pain of loss and emptiness.

Sounds dramatic, yes? Yet you are having a hard time denying that you have felt this, no? It might have been when you were in the 3rd grade and that cute little boy or girl in your class just didn't pay attention to you. Or it might have been as a teenager when you ached for the love of a parent, a person of the opposite sex, or of someone you admired greatly. Or maybe you feel those feelings now, as an adult. What do you do? Is it old enough that you have moved on or is it fresh and new? Does it only come to mind now and again when you are inadvertently reminded of it? Do you try and push it out of your mind? Do you ignore these feelings by occupying your mind elsewhere? Do you cling to something familiar and sweet?

I, personally, cling to my faith. I reach out to my Savior, the One who knows me better than I know myself. He tells me "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness..." (2 Cor. 12:9) I repeat His promise over and over to myself. He gives me His grace and that is all I need. My feelings of weakness allow Him to bring me closer to Him. He fills me with His love and reassures me that this is enough. He loves me with a love greater than I have ever known. His love is the greatest example of love ever given to mankind. I love because He first loved me. (1 John 4:19) He tells me that there is nothing that I can do to make Him love me and yet He does. This is the "just because love." And it is the best kind.

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