“We love you and we are very proud of you. Even when Mommy and I sometimes get mad, or we don’t say it as much as we should, we still love you,” my dad told me over and over again growing up. It was an important reminder. Even as a child I was tempted to doubt love the moment I wasn’t feeling it or being reminded of it.
When I think of the moments I have really felt true love many memories come to mind. They are not all perfect, because love is not a fairytale. Sometimes I am afraid of love, because caring about people can be painful. It is true opening ourselves to love makes us more vulnerable. But if we do not love, we become closed off to others. People will have less power to hurt us, but at what cost?
One night during my freshman year of college I opened up to my roommate and close friend about some insecurities and fears I had. Although it was hard to be vulnerable with her, I’ll never forget the love she showed in return. I remember her hugging me so tightly and telling me I’m better than I think I am. She helped me to believe more in myself, and in moments of doubt and insecurity I can think of her words and the love that I felt in her embrace.
Another night during college I was standing on a soccer field in the rain with a guy I was seeing. He was holding my hand for the last time, saying through his tears that we should break up because we needed to do what was best for both of us. Our relationship didn’t work out, but I am still grateful for it—and even for those tears. A lot can be learned from love even if it’s not meant to last forever.
I’ve found that love grows even when you fear you are going to be pulled apart. As happy as I was for her, I cried giving my sister away because I was afraid to lose her. I’ve since realized that I didn’t lose my sister; things just changed. And I gained a deeply caring older brother and baby nephew in the process. I also can picture dancing with my nineteen-year-old brother at one of our last college dances together, and seeing the tears in his eyes as he admitted he was going to miss me when I graduated. As bittersweet as these times were, mostly they made me realize how happy I am to have people I love so much.
These are some of the ways that I have experienced love. These people and these relationships are what inspire me and enrich my life on a daily basis. Their love has made me a better person, and completely shaped who I am. Love is this amazing thing that makes life worth living. Love draws us out of ourselves. It’s what makes us place someone else’s needs above our own. Love gives us hope. Through the love of a friend or a boyfriend the world is a brighter and kinder place in our eyes, and we believe we are welcome in it. Love encourages us to be the best versions of ourselves.
If I ever doubt the power of love in my life, I simply have to remember all the times I have experienced it so strongly. Even when things are hard and messy, real love has this amazing power to bring about so many good things. It’s always worth the risk. I believe in love because I have experienced its amazing power.
Latest posts by Colleen (see all)
- I Believe in Love Because I Have Experienced Its Amazing Power - June 15, 2017
- Learning To Be Patient In Love - February 25, 2015