First just a note of background. If there is one thing I have managed to pretty consistently fail at doing, aside from 100-mile races, it is the enduring love relationship thing. Depending on how you look at my track record, you could see this as a negative -- or, you could look at it as a series of lessons I have learned, which now I can apply to and perhaps finally succeed at accomplishing.
One positive, I am a mature woman now, in the years-living category at least. With that age comes experience, knowledge -- a possible benefit over those just starting out in their twenties. To some men, a mature woman knows how to treat him right. (Hmmmm. That sounds promising.) But please understand that this blog entry is in NO WAY trying to communicate that I am some pro at this loving relationship thing. I'm not. Experienced doesn't mean credentialed. Keep that in mind when you read this *opinion piece*!
On to the random thoughts on the topic of LOVE:
- I do not think that human beings were meant to live alone. I think partnering is natural and wonderful. Of course we can all use some alone time, especially when recovering from a recent heartbreak, or setback in life. I just think in general we are meant to love a partner more closely, more intimately than anyone else.
- Saying "I love you" is a life-giving statement. I have learned, however, that words are empty when they are just said and not backed up by action. Say AND show your love.
- Just because you are "in LOVE" and feeling that warm, happy, "nothing can touch me" shield around you doesn't guarantee life will be stress-free. In fact, count on it to be stressful. Feel confidence in that your person was chosen by you as the one to share both good and bad times.
- I have learned that a partner should be protected from bearing the brunt of your internal pain at all costs. If this hurting does happen, and happens often, it takes a whole lot of time (and effort, and love, and forgiveness) to heal, if it ever heals at all.
- Be able to say the words, "I am sorry" genuinely. Don't care what outsiders think, what do they know about your sorrow?
- Once an apology is accepted by you, make your heart accept it. Move on, move past it. Otherwise it can erode slowly over time until your love falls away.
- Forgiveness is a truly progressed sort of love. It is the right thing to do when there is genuine remorse. Even the "best" folks make mistakes.
- Try and view "little" irritations as they are: of little importance overall.
- Before you put being right as your first priority, think about the possible long term effects. You may be "right" or you may "win" the argument -- but you could end up alone and right.
- Pride is a sin for a reason.
- "Cover" your partner at all costs. If there is a spray of gunfire, cover him. Protect her.
- Stabilize instead of stress. When all else falls down around your partner, you want to be the ones still standing.
- Cherish your partner.
- Physical intimacy can be awesome. Making love is even more awesome. Strive for the latter.
- Realize the gift you have been given by God, no matter the road he/she took to get to you. Accept that blessing with thanks and vow to feel blessed every day of your life.
- If you are in a season of life that finds you without a partner, please try to not despair. You can find love all around you if you look for it -- in the eyes of your children, your family, your friends, your pet friends, sometimes even your colleagues. Lean on them during this time. Let them love you! And be open to a new start (or re-start) when it finds you.
Hold on for dear life, and don't ever let go.