Remembering The Love In 2016

Remembering The Love In 2016

It always triumphs in the end

2016 was far from an easy year for most of us. Messages of hate flooded our television screens, images of mass casualty became a part of our daily news, and many of us had begun to wonder when the horror would come to an end. While many people reflect on 2016 with these unfortunate events, I like to think of the love that 2016 brought us instead. It seems crazy at first, I know. How could so much agony and pain make you think of love? 2016 was a test for all of us. As people, we had the choice between letting the pain and hatred we've become so exposed to consume us, or we could allow love into our hearts instead. In the end, I believe that in 2016 love triumphed in the end.

Without tragedy and heartache, people would never appreciate the love in their lives. There was love when the world stopped to mourn the lives that were lost in the attacks in Paris, Brussels, and Orlando. There was love when the Orlando Regional Medical Center waivered the medical expenses for the survivors of the Pulse Nightclub shooting. There was love when people gathered to protect the sacred grounds of the Sioux tribe from being destroyed by corporate drilling. There was love when a white police officer hugged and comforted an African American teenager after seeing the terror in his eyes after during a routine pull over. There was love when the people forced the media and government to pay attention to the war horrors that were occurring in Syria and Aleppo. There was even love when the people of this country chose to stand together rather than let politics divide us into war.

In my personal experience, 2016 was a year of growing pains. I fell in love and had my heart broken. I tried new things and traveled to new cities. And I made the decision to become the person I truly am rather than the person others want me to become. They are all things that are common in growing up, and I think I did more of that in 2016 than in any other year of my life.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, star and creator of the musical "Hamilton", wrote a sonnet before accepting his Tony Award saying:

"We chase the melodies that seem to find us.

Until they're finished songs and start to play

When senseless acts of tragedy remind us

That nothing here is promised, not one day.

This show is proof that history remembers

We lived through times when hate and fear seemed stronger;

We rise and fall and light from dying embers, remembrances that hope and love last longer

And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside."

2016 proved that even through the most devasting of times, love will always find a way. For because it is love, it cannot be destroyed, for it is the only thing on Earth that is eternal.

Cover Image Credit: CNN

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.

It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. (Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.)

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town. Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community. I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK. What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives. What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all. Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back; same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others. As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being. My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Why Timing Actually ISN'T Everything

If someone wants to be with you, they will.

We all have that person we have gone back to and thought, "The timing was just not right." We've also heard of the age-old saying, "Timing is everything."

A lot of the times, we take our failed relationships and blame them on timing. If you think it might have worked out if you met them at a different point in your life, or maybe a different point in theirs, then maybe things would have worked out.

I've even said this to myself, convincing myself it's the reason things didn't work out. But when you really think about it, it's honestly just a crap excuse that we tell ourselves or what other people tell us. This really isn't the case or the actual reason things did not work out.

Timing is a copout. It's an easy scapegoat for just not wanting to be with someone or not wanting to commit to them. It's also an easy reason to blame on why the person you want may not want you or may not want to be with you.

It's easier to tell yourself that the timing was not right, versus that whoever you want to be with just simply does not want to be with you.

This may be a tough pill to swallow, but it's the reality of most situations. If someone really wants to be with you, then they will. It's honestly that simple.

Just because they may be at a certain point in their life, or they have some issues they need to work out still, it does not make them incapable of being with you or committing to you, if it's what they truly want and if they truly care about you.

Quite frankly, this sucks, and it's an awful feeling. But it's important to realize and not let yourself get dragged along. With accepting that truth, you can move on.

If you stop making excuses about timing or accepting those excuses, you can find someone who truly values you and won't make dumb, immature excuses to not be with you. Someone who won't be a waste of your time.

So just remember, if they want to be with you, they will. There's no timing that can change that.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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