Friday, August 9, 2013

Some call it love

For my readers who come here to read the funny spin I put on things that they are afraid to say out loud or publish online, let me apologize in advance. This post has nothing to do with being a mom. I can’t promise a funny spin on this post either. Today I want to write about love and how it can define us to our very core and in some cases, redefine us.

When I became a mom for the first time on October 16, 2006 love came naturally to me. It wasn’t something I had to work at, or try to feel for my child. Love was pouring out of me in every facet. I loved everything about her and I loved everything I had to do for her. Yes, including changing her explosive diapers and wiping up her regurgitated breastmilk. Serving her wasn’t a burden. Being at her beck and call was my new guilty pleasure. Granted, when that newborn smell wears off it can kinda start to feel like a job. 

Especially after a long day at work and 4 sessions of pumping your breasts like a dairy cow. Then as they get older and begin using their opinionated brains against us, it becomes even harder. But my point is, loving your child isn’t a hard thing to do. I wouldn’t categorize it as “work.” 

Loving another person however, IS work. Not at first. At first when you’re in that “in love” phase nothing takes effort, nothing is too expensive, nothing is too inconvenient; nothing is difficult in exchange for your lover’s happiness. Even the sacrifice of your own. (ahem, unnamed cousin)When that newness wears off, the shhhh gets harder. And that’s okay. That’s the natural progression of reality in relationships. 

We’re two months into our marital union as husband and wife and we have been hard at work to love one another. I say that not in a bad way but in a good way. See, much like the faith without works is dead sorta thing, love without work is just lust. Ohhh I just made that up. That’s good yall. Write that one down.
Kurt and I were headed towards love from the moment we met. No doubt about it. It was almost magical. We got to enjoy the ride of falling in love with each other. Climbing mountains for one another was easy and almost effortless. Now married, under one roof, multiplied children, increased expenses, merging schedules, establishing rules, enforcing rules, his, hers, mine, OURS. It’s work. It’s gratifying and rewarding. But it’s still work. 

Each disagreement, quarrel or issue that has come up has served as an opportunity to demonstrate our loves towards each other. Not at first. Usually inconsiderate words and opinions are expressed, then comes the love. Understanding, forgiveness, communication, tolerance, willingness to see the other’s point of view. This is all stuff that conflicts with our instincts. We are by nature selfish with our main concern being self preservation and justification. So when we put our desire and need to be heard, understood, justified, and right out of the equation, we create a free zone to truly love the one we have chosen to be with.

Loving Kurt has humbled me in a way I can’t help but praise God for. It has challenged me to reevaluate how I demonstrate love, grace, mercy, forgiveness towards others. When I witness Kurt resisting the urge to speak out of anger or emotion towards me, or taking the time needed to process my perspective, I am witnessing love in action.  And when I return that respect to him by admitting my faults, or asking for his forgiveness he is witnessing love in action from me. This doesn’t magically make me agree with him or him with me. We might have to agree to disagree or schedule another time to discuss it. Either way, we work towards love. 

We have encountered some impromptu family issues. The kind of issues you aren’t allowed to turn away from or ignore. In addition to that we have been working towards merging our families into one. There has been quite a lot of “obstacles” hurled our way. We choose to see those obstacles as opportunities to grow.  Well, maybe not at first but we eventually find our way there. 

This post isn’t to brag or air how na├»ve I am about marriage and relationships. It’s tough. Add kids its tougher. Add kids and ex’s its exhaustingly tough.  I’m well aware that problems and fights are going to arise and they won’t always be easy to get thru. I know love doesn’t blind us to our spouse’s miscellaneous socks found in random places or put the seat down. But I want to encourage my readers, both single and not to embrace the effort that’s demanded by love. It’s not easy. It’s when it gets hard that you know you’re on real love’s territory and it relies on you to stay alive.