Learning to Live Means Learning to Love
I think life is a beautiful thing. It’s full of knowns and unknowns, lessons, blessings, and more often than not, hurtful moments that can make a person or break them. Where does this sudden inspiration for a passion for life come from? Let me set the story.
It’s about 75–80 degrees, it’s humid and sticky, and I just finished the book Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom. I’m set on learning to look at life the way Morrie did — without fear, living and loving with passion, and truly being in the moment with another human being, not just taking up space and responding “yeah” “uh-huh” when appropriate. For this particular moment, I’m focusing on love.
On of the main ideas in this book is simple, yet so intricately woven: Learning to live, means learning to love.
Love. How does one love? That’s a complex answer in itself. Love is different for all people. The easiest way I can describe how I feel a love for another person is wanting to be their rock, their “person” (Grey’s Anatomy anyone??), or their confidant. I show love by being there for someone, I decide to love not only because it’s what I’m called to do as a Catholic, but also as a human being. To love is to be loved. I love, because it makes another person feel worth the time. In the end, doesn’t everyone deserve to have the experience of feeling worth the time and effort?
Love, however, should not be confused with the word “like.” I love my friends, but I don’t necessarily like them all the time — copy me? I can still want to be their rock, their confidant, but I don’t like them for making me go out on a Friday night even when I’m tired after a long shift at work.
I think defining love is the most important thing to begin this understanding about life and how one looks at it. I strive to be the person everyone remembers as caring and compassionate. I don’t want to just slip in and out of a person’s life, I want to touch their hearts, rock their souls and let the light shine. I love, but expect nothing in return. I am called to love in this life, and I think it’s high time others close their eyes and open their hearts.
Always have to have that Catholic Plug, but just to keep this brief, First Corinthians: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor 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.8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
My Senior Year High School Theology teacher, Mrs. Mazz had this on her bulletin boards (maybe not the whole thing, but definitely the first three verses!). She spent the whole year talking about love and how this type of love (referenced above in Corinthians) is similar to an acorn. Acorns are such tiny pieces of life that bring about a tall oak tree — branching and stretching to all that see and encounter it. The same goes for love. Love starts small, grows and develops into something greater than us, and reaches like a light into the darkness and seen for miles to come. I will never forget the first class we had and she handed us all acorns. Here we are, about 15 girls in the class, holding acorns that were sitting on the front lawn just a few hours ago. But what a beautiful and sincere message that acorn conveyed, and still stuck four years later.
Things got deep real quick, but I think it’s important to know what love truly is. Of course, I have to loop it around to #Fitspiration because this is what I’m all about. Learning to love gives a person a fulfilling feeling, as well as an openness to be loved by another. Feelings of love sometimes incur terrifying sensations, but love doesn’t always have to be romantic. Love can be the difference between an athlete who feels as though no one is paying attention to their struggles and taking their life or working through troublesome emotions with a friend. Fitspiration doesn’t strictly end at the entrance of the gym or the refrigerator, but rather encompasses all aspects of life.
Expect more to come — Tuesdays With Morrie has such a beautiful message that I hope to continue to share. Mrs. Mazz, this ones for you.