What Is Love?

What Is Love?

Well, it is why we are here.
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As I sit angrily in my bed as the clock reaches midnight, the song "What is Love" rambles through my head. I feel too often our society that we are blessed to live in, forgets what the purpose is: to love. We are called to do this simple task but it seems to be a not so easy task with everyone we meet.

There are many different forms of love, to name a few: there is love of oneself, love of neighbor and even romantic love. What has been really bothering me, however, has been love of neighbor. Often times these four little letters l-o-v-e are mistaken for four different letters l-u-s-t. To truly love is to be selfless and to lust is to be selfish. This distinct difference is what drives our society apart, our houses and our so called friendships.

When you’re selfless in your friendships, you want what is best for that person. Whether motivating them in doing their work or calling them out when they messed up. Messing up is normal. It is in our innate humanity to mess up, if we didn’t mess up, life would not be interesting. When someone truly loves you, they will point it out. Not because they are judging you or mean, but because they realize the importance of your growth as a human being.

If you ignore someone's genuine concern or acting out of sheer personal desire, that is lust. Lust in and of itself is selfish and purely focused on your individual desires, clearly disregarding those around you. Sometimes what you want as an individual is not what is best for you. Yeah, I want to eat four dozen chocolate chip cookies but that's probably not what's best for me. A good friend, out of love, would hold me accountable and remind me that eating four dozen cookies is not good.

Just imagine a world where there is no accountability. Where there are no repercussions for ones actions. That world would be run to the ground quickly and it would be hard to find true happiness. When people close to you hold you accountable, they do it out of love. They want you to be the best person you can be and sometimes a little tough love is what is best.

This accountability thing should be happening on a daily basis. This does not just apply to love of one's neighbor but in every little tiny crevice of one's life. To be happy, and I mean truly happy, we are called to love. If that means that accountability for your actions comes in and dampers what you think you want, well, so be it.

Cover Image Credit: We Know Your Dreams

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The Thank You My Dad Deserves

While our moms are always the heroes, our dads deserve some credit, too.
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Dear Dad,

You’ve gone a really long time without being thanked. I'm not talking about thanks for things like opening the Gatorade bottle I couldn't or checking my tires when my car’s maintenance light is flashing, but rather the thanks I owe you for shaping me into the person I am today.

Thank you for teaching me what I deserve and for not letting me settle for anything less.

While the whole world was telling me I wasn’t good enough, you were there to tell me I was. Whether this was with boys, a friend, or anything else, you always built my confidence to a place I couldn’t build it to on my own. You showed me what my great qualities were and helped me feel unique. But most of all, you never let me settle for anything less than what I deserved, even when I wanted to. Without you, I wouldn’t be nearly as ambitious, outgoing or strong.

Thank you for giving me someone to make proud.

It’s hard to work hard when it’s just for myself, but so easy when it’s for you. All through school, nothing made me happier than getting a good grade back because I knew I got to come home and tell you. With everything I do, you give me a purpose.

SEE ALSO: 20 Things You Say When Calling Your Dad On The Phone

Thank you for showing me what selflessness looks like.

You are the prime example of what putting your family first looks like. If me wanting something means that you can’t get what you want, you’ll always sacrifice. From wearing the same t-shirts you’ve had since I was in elementary school so I could buy the new clothes I wanted, to not going out with your friends so you could come to my shows, you never made a decision without your family at the forefront of your mind. If there is one quality you have that I look up to you for the most, it’s your ability to completely put your needs aside and focus entirely on the wants of others.

Thank you for being the voice in the back of my head that shows me wrong from right.

Even though many of your dad-isms like “always wear a seatbelt” easily get old, whenever I’m in a situation and can’t decide if what I’m doing is right or wrong, I always can hear you in the back of my head pointing me in the right direction. While I may not boost your ego often enough by telling you you’re always right, you are.

Thank you for being real with me when nobody else will.

Being your child hasn’t always been full of happiness and encouragement, but that’s what makes you such an integral part of my life. Rather than sugarcoating things and always telling me I was the perfect child, you called me out when I was wrong. But what separates you from other dads is that instead of just knocking me down, you helped me improve. You helped me figure out my faults and stood by me every step of the way as I worked to fix them.

Most of all, thank you for showing me what a great man looks like.

I know that marriage may seem very far down the road, but I just want you to know that whoever the guy I marry is, I know he’ll be right because I have an amazing guy to compare him to. I know you’re not perfect (nobody is), but you’ve raised me in a such a way that I couldn’t imagine my kids being raised any differently. Finding a guy with your heart, drive, and generosity will be tough, but I know it will be worth it.


Dad, you’re more than just my parent, but my best friend. You’re there for me like nobody else is and I couldn’t imagine being where I am now without you.

Love you forever,

Your little girl

Cover Image Credit: Caity Callan

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Sometimes It's Better Not To Stress So Hard About An Exam And Spend More Time Doing Something You Love

Like spending time with friends or doing something you're passionate about... or taking a random trip to New Jersey.

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We all know academics are important and education is one of the most valued commodities in our world. But, sometimes it is okay to distract yourself from the grind of studying. It's okay to take a mental health break and do something on the total opposite side of the spectrum from education.

What most college-age kids don't think about anymore is how the stress of college impacts their mental health. They think pulling all-nighters and staying awake solely by caffeine isn't an issue.

"It's a part of the college experience."

"Everyone has to do it at some point."

WRONG.

Knowing when enough is enough, and when to stop is an important part of growing up. Your body can only handle so much at a time. It's been proven over and over again that cramming isn't an effective way of studying, yet kids still do it. It's time to learn from our mistakes and focus a little bit more on our own health.

Take a mental health break, PLEASE.

Get a few hours of sleep. Watch a movie to let your mind relax. Sit in the sunshine and soak up the sun. Find some friends to make dinner with. Do something other than study for an hour or two. It's not going to kill you.

GPAs are important, I agree with that. But there are a few things more important than your grades, and one of those is your health.

So as this finals season comes to a close, think about ways to improve your studying next semester. Avoid all-nighters and living off of Starbucks (regardless of how great it is), and start putting yourself as your number one priority. When you do that right, your grades will follow suit.

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