I don't know what the world is coming to, must be falling in love with you.

There are ants all OVER my bookshelf... and WHY? Because they like my room better than any other room in the house. They won't TOUCH my brothers' room... they could leave full cans of soda open on their floor and ants won't go anywhere near them... but my room?? Oh do they ever LOVE it there. I. HATE. ANTS.

BUT - that's not what today's blog is about... it's not about hate, and it's CERTAINLY not about ants... that was just a thought that was going through my head as I embarked on today's blog journey. I'm actually excited... I HAVE A TOPIC FOR TODAY'S POST!!!

For starters, I'd like to apologize for yesterday's lousy excuse for a post. Actually, I'd like to apologize for last WEEK'S lousy excuse for posts in general. I realize I had a few good ones, but the rest were crap, and you all deserve MUCH better than that. BUT - in my defense, it happens... I can only hope that you'll all forgive me, and that my next few posts will be able to make up for the crap I put out last week. :)

Alright so... remember, a couple weeks ago I wrote a blog post about HOPE... how it was one of my favorite words?? And a few posts ago, I talked about how my favorite words were HOPE, BELIEVE, and LOVE, among others???

I've decided to define LOVE for you... or at least what I think it is. And I don't mean love for family, or friends, or blah blah blah. I mean, relationship love... I guess if I want to define it for you, I have to cross the language boundary, first.

I've been blessed with an upbringing in the church that allowed me to learn about the different Greek words for love. In English, we have one word for love, and use context clues to figure out what one means when using it. Confusing, right? I think so. But in Greek, there are a number of words: Eros, Philia, Agape, Thelema, and Storge, among others.

Philia is used to represent the friendship type of love... loyalty to those we care about - family, friends, etc.

Agape is used to represent affection and adoration.

Storge is used to represent the affection one would have toward parents - the natural love one feels for family.

Thelema is used to represent the desire to do something, as in "I love to snowboard" or something to that effect.

The love that I want to try and talk about is Eros. Eros is used to describe the passionate love, the sensual desire and longing that comes with it. The love you feel toward a significant other.

Before I get into anything, I feel I should point out that, even though I have never been in a relationship, in my 20 years of life on this planet I can say that I have honest to God been in love once - once that I am absolutely, positively, sure of, and it'll be this instance that I'm going off of.

A lot of people have describe love as being magical - that everything falls into place, everything works out and everything clicks. You find a person that you never fight with, that you never ever ever have problems with.

I'll agree that it's magical - but not the way everyone thinks it is. I won't agree that it's when everything falls into place - that you find a person that you never have problems with.

From what I've seen, and what I've experienced, Love messes everything up.

WHOA Lauren, way to be a scrooge!!!

Well, just hold on, hear me out.

Love messes everything up. When you're in love, left is right and right is wrong. You could have the best day with someone and by 2 am you're cursing their name. One plus one not only doesn't equal 2, but it CAN'T equal 2. You DO fight... you most definitely fight... but I think that love is when you do fight with that person and still love them when it's over. You're able to spend the worst day ever with that person and be dancing in your room when the night is over.

I think that love is magical only because it makes you compatible with someone you would NEVER be compatible with. My friend Jordan recently blogged about Musicals, and said that the Phantom of the Opera was her favorite even though it shouldn't be. My response to her was THAT was why it was her favorite... it was something she normally wouldn't like, but when it was over she wanted to watch it again. Did that mean she liked all musicals of the same story line?? No, JUST that one.

I think love is the same way. You find someone you normally wouldn't get along with and you look passed their flaws, passed their inconsistencies with your personality, and love them anyway. You would rather spend a day fighting with them then a perfect day with anyone else. The relationships that I've witnessed last longest consist of people who approached the relationship knowing it would be a lot of work and not minding it.

Let's put this discussion on pause - I in NO WAY mean you should try to fall in love with a drug user or an abusive person, or anything like that just because that's not how you are. I don't mean endure someone's abuse just because it'll mean you're in love if you put up with it - I don't mean that at all and I hope you don't get that from this. I mean things a little less extreme... someone who likes chocolate ice cream when you can't stand it... someone you would eat chocolate ice cream with just because you love them more than you hate it. I mean backing down from an argument even if you hate losing. I mean admitting you may be wrong even if you believe without a shadow of a doubt you're right.

You may be asking - yes, but if you've never been in a relationship, how do you know you were in love??

And that answer is actually a lot more simple than one would think... it's because I don't regret it.

I've liked a number of people, and always looked back and been upset about the time I wasted on that person. Time that could have been spent doing something productive. When I met this particular person, I was at a point in my life when I had decided that I wasn't going to LOOK for someone... and found him anyway. I tried a ton of new things I wouldn't normally do (non legal, non compromising things, I should clarify lol), watched movies that weren't my genre and ended up loving them... there are a ton of things I still do now that I never would have discovered, had I not done it just for this person. And I don't regret ANY of it. I don't regret the time I spent with this person, I don't regret any of the fights we got into. I don't regret not having my love returned. I'm not embarrassed about all the times I acted like an idiot, or made a fool of myself. I don't regret any of it - and that's a big deal. I'm usually the person who will stub their toe and wish they had taken a different path through the living room... I used to regret everything, even if it had a positive outcome.

And I think that's another aspect of love... you learn something about yourself... you unlock areas of yourself you didn't know existed.

It didn't work out - and I know it probably never will. Am I still hung up on this person? Absolutely not - I'm able to move on knowing that this particular call will never be answered. But I'm content - I'm glad I went through this experience, and I'm glad I was given the chance to discover the things I discovered during this adventure.

That doesn't mean it won't hurt when you realize it's over - I mentioned earlier that this year was very much filled with heart break - it's never simple, never easy, and it's CERTAINLY never a clean break when you have to admit it's over - but I'd be willing to say that that's an aspect of love, too, and getting through that is part of it as well. Being able to forgive the person that broke your heart is part of it, also. Not dwelling... there are so many aspects. Even if you're in a relationship with this person, chances are, you'll get hurt - and it's pushing through that hurt that's going to make the relationship stronger. It's work, and you have to work at it to MAKE it work.

Notice how nothing in this mentioned anything sexual??? That's because IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE. I feel like I should stress that - you can love someone without being sexual... YOU CAN, GIRLS. IT'S DOABLE. That's something that isn't stressed enough, especially today. You don't have to give it up to prove you love someone... you really don't.

Ultimately, I believe love is looking pass the surface - appreciating every aspect of that person, every aspect you despise, and seeing how it makes them beautiful. Seeing how, when this person uses it, it itself is beautiful. Seeing how left is right, right is wrong, and it's okay. Cursing their name at 2 am and loving every minute of it. Knowing one plus one does equal two, but happily being able to admit that maybe that isn't always so. Not knowing whether to laugh, cry, or hit someone, and not minding the confusion. Knowing that even though this person may argue with you, that even though love messes everything up, that you'll not only achieve your dreams through it, but discover dreams you didn't know you had. It's being underwater without any air without the fear of drowning.

If you haven't found love, I hope you don't fear it. If it has found you, I pray you'll use it wisely. If you've found it a while ago, and have since made it a part of your family, I will pray for you, that it lives on, and that you get through whatever problems you may encounter.

Love messes EVERYTHING up - but it's okay... the way I see it, it's a mess I've enjoyed cleaning up.


What am I thankful for?? hmm.... I'm thankful for those laughing, crying, kicking, screaming moments that end with a "phew." I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about. :)

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Jordan said...

Some parts of this entry really ring true with me, particularly the part about loving someone in spite of - and sometimes even because of - their flaws. I used to think that was total bull, because I was in love with someone, but I couldn't get past his flaws. I thought I was a bad person for it, but by your logic, it wasn't the greatest love.

Now I have someone who's got flaws I actually COULD get past and even love... I wouldn't want to change those parts of him. It's a weird feeling, but it's there, and it all works, and it's unbelievable.

You go, Lauren :)