Made for Love
Being at the beach always makes me want to fall in love.
It’s been that way since I was eleven years old when I would sneak out onto the condo balcony late at night and write love songs to a guy that I’d never met. There I would look up at the stars and pray that I would meet my summer romance, and that this year would be the year.
The closest I ever came was when I was about fourteen, and I met a boy on the beach one afternoon. We walked and he made fun of his younger brother for never having had his first kiss (news flash- neither had I) and after a while he said he would come meet me the next morning. I was head over heels. The next day I showed up in the same spot early that morning and waited… and waited… and waited… When it got to be around 5 PM, I finally figured he wasn’t coming.
Being at the beach also reminds me about broken hearts.
And as you can imagine, this wouldn’t be the first time that my fragile heart would break. A heart can break in so many different ways- rejection, walking away, being someone’s second choice, watching someone you love choose an addiction over you, leaving someone behind because God is moving you another direction, giving away too much too fast, having that taken away by someone else… Sometimes I’ve been the one doing the breaking and other times mine’s the heart that’s being shattered, but something they all have in c ommon-
It hurts. A lot.
There’s a reason that almost every popular song on the radio right now is about either love or heartbreak. Because these are some of the strongest emotions that any of us ever experience.
As John Greene says in one of my favorite quotes, “It hurts because it matters.”
And yet, we continue to risk it. We cannot do one, without chanceing the other.
Are we crazy?
Well, I mean, maybe… but I think that I can offer a better explanation-
We continue to love, despite the bitterness of heartbreak, because we were made for love.
The love of a family member, of a partner, of a friend, of a child…
Have you ever loved someone else? To love someone else, truly putting them before yourself, is the most fulfilling thing on the planet (and trust me, take it from someone who has tried nearly everything that promised fulfillment on the planet).
Have you ever been loved? Really loved? To be fully known and loved as we are is within the heart of every single person. Not just that feel good lovey dovey Disney stuff (although that’s nice too) but the real stuff- the “I know you, all your flaws and imperfection, and I am willing to do whatever it takes to be with you, because I love you” kind of love.
I want that. And if you say you don’t want that, you’re a freaking liar. Liar liar pants on fire.
Because you and I were made for love. It’s the reason we can get hurt and keep going, keep chasing that feeling or that experience of being known and cherished. It’s the thing that substances, addictions, and unhealthy people try to mimic- but it’s just not the real thing, and our hearts know it.
Love is the point of this whole stupid mess called living in the world.
So it’s no wonder to me that I think I think of love when I sit by the ocean. Because yes, despite popular belief (I’m talking to you Mom and Dad) I do want to get married someday and fall madly in love- and to be totally honest, it’s kinda rough when the closest thing you’ve had to a date in a while is being a third wheel with your younger sister and her fiancé… BUT I’m also not in a rush, because I’m not chasing that feeling.
I am fully known. I am completely loved. I have been showered by an ocean’s worth of love and mercy from my God and I have enough. I’m not alone.
Nothing else can compare.
A relationship is NOT a way to chase a feeling or an experience. A relationship helps me to grow in a selfless love, and allows me to experience the love that I experience from God in a very tangible and concrete way.
It’s not that summer fling-what I was wishing for when I was gazing up at the stars when I was eleven, praying for prince charming to come and sweep me off my feet so that we could walk off into the sunset together.
If onlythat little girl could see that her prince charming was gazing right back down at her already from those stars above.
But just to be clear God, I’m still good if you want to send a prince my way- like, no rush, but ya know, yeah.
I’m kidding. No, really, loving other people is risky. Love and heartbreak will forever go hand in hand because people are people- we are flawed and we disappoint others. But to never risk heartbreak means never experiencing the fulfillment of loving another- the fullness that comes after sacrificing for another, for allowing someone else to feel wanted and accepted as they are.
So Recover Girl, today, take a moment to see where you are in your love story with your Higher Power. Sometimes I like to listen to a love song and imagine it’s being sung for me by my God. When we think about past and our future, let’s ask for the strength to continue to love, to continue to risk heartbreak.
After all- all you need is love- right?
So be brave little one. Love is worth the risk.