Lately, I've been struggling with something I'm sure everyone else has before or eventually will. I keep beating myself up over it, asking the same question over and over again: What the heck is love?
I don't know exactly why I keep asking myself this question, but I'm hoping that it'll come to me from writing this. I think ever since Lent began, this question has really been taunting me. Fortunately, I had a solid 14-hour car ride from my house to New Orleans, so I had a looong talk with my philosophic self which started leading to some conclusions (at least for myself). On that note, buckle your seatbelt and enjoy the ride on my train of thought (which is usually quite scattered, so sorry 'bout that...)!
From a Catholic standpoint, I wholeheartedly believe that God is love, but then I kept asking myself why I never felt like this was enough for me. Sure, I knew that his love was present in heaven for me, but what about on earth? Where the heck was it on earth? Let me tell you, I searched everywhere for God's love on earth. Everywhere. I could never find it. And I think this just made me shut myself down and close my eyes to the possibility of it being on earth.
Granted, I know my family loves me and hopefully, my friends do, but I just kept thinking to myself "Why haven't I been in a relationship?" And let me tell you, this question beat me down for years. But then, while driving through Alabama, it really hit me.
I haven't been in a relationship because I haven't been willing to give that kind of love to someone else, mainly because I didn't think it was earthly possible. However, it is because of Jesus dying all those years ago on that cross.
That blood he bled was so we could love people on this earth the way God wanted us to: in his image. That blood allows us to love selflessly and sacrificially, with the main goal being to get our partner to heaven.
Honestly, I think this is the most beautiful thing in the universe.
I think you know what love is when you experience total kindness; or when you will give every ounce of strength you have emotionally, mentally, and physically to someone else. In order to do this, though, you have to put yourself out there and love people with everything you have.
I like to think of it like a lighthouse: if your light isn't shining, then ships aren't going to make it to you, or they will have struggled greatly to and will be too weak.
So as hard as it is sometimes, keep your light on. Keep radiating that selfless and sacrificial love, and someday someone will do the same for you.