At the weekend, I had the joy of seeing friends get married. Lucia looked beautiful in her dress, Johnny donned a kilt for the occasion. Their family and friends were there to celebrate their relationship with them… there was so much joy in the room, everyone was up dancing, there was lots of laughter, stories being told by work colleagues. It was great to be part of their special day, knowing that this is the start of their marriage but the continuation of their journey as a couple.
Having been at the wedding at the weekend, I’ve spent the last couple of days pondering love… This quote from C.S Lewis makes some bold claims about it.
We don’t often like being vulnerable with people, well I don’t anyway, but it’s something I’m learning to get better at.
It got me thinking to a conversation I had with someone a few days before the wedding… I was asked if because of my own experience of heartbreak and recent divorce if I’m now a complete cynic when it comes to love, relationships and marriage and the more I thought about it, I realised a few things…
In some ways I was pretty cynical long before now… life happens!
I’ve come to the conclusion if you haven’t had your heart broken at least once then maybe, you’ve never truly loved… loving people (whether romantically or not) hurts at times… but maybe I’m wrong and as Jason Donovan once sang ‘There’s Too Many Broken Hearts in the World.’
Yes I’ve seen my own relationship break down and I’ve seen others break down too, but… Love is an incredible thing! I get to see lots of great relationships… I see the joy of love around me every day in my friends and family, in their marriages/relationships, in their children as they do real life together and it gives me hope!
It’s affirmed that love and relationships take work, love requires sacrifice (not out of obligation but because you genuinely want the best for the other person (or people in your life). I have seen some of them fight for their relationships when things get tough: when health is challenging, when arguments happen, I’ve seen them forgive one another. I’ve seen them walk out vulnerability, humility and grace. I’ve seen them love their kids in ways that I never thought possible to love another person (especially when they’re testing boundaries and patience, but that’s part of what being a parent is about I guess).
Brene Brown, like C.S Lewis, links love and vulnerability… the two seem to go hand in hand… there is nothing better than being seen and known by those who love you whether that’s your romantic partner or family/friends.
The concluding line to this quote says it all… we can only love others as much as we love ourselves… Now, I know we’re all guilty of negative self talk at times, but loving ourselves (or at least liking ourselves to start with) enable us to love others more fully. That’s part of an ongoing process, but one worth pursuing for the benefit of richer friendships and relationships.
Anyways… all that to say, I do still believe in love, I think it looks different for everyone… but choosing to prefer the other person (whilst not being a door mat), cultivating trust, being vulnerable (even when it’s hard) and affection are what love is all about.
Hope my random musings make some sense.