This I Believe

Lauren - Sagamore Hills, Ohio
Entered on May 4, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

Love. You can’t see it, touch it, hold it or bottle it. It can hurt more than anything else in the world, but not loving is so much more painful. To me love is so much more than just an emotion or a feeling, it’s a way of life. When you’re a loving person in any way, shape or form, it positively affects those around you. You’re more courteous at the grocery store, a little more understanding towards those who wrong you and have a positive outlook on life. Whether you love your family, your friends, your husband, your wife, your classmates, your peers or especially your enemies, you will find that love is powerful. I believe that love is the most important aspect of life.

My first exposure to love was through my parents. I don’t have a very unusual story when it comes my family. I grew up in a four bedroom ranch in Sagamore Hills Ohio with my parents, sister and brother. My parents aren’t rich or famous and would be considered pretty ordinary to anybody else, but to me they are living proof of the power of love. For as long as I can remember they have picked me up when I have fallen, calmed me when I have cried and loved me no matter what. As a four year old who had just broken a lamp in the living room, it was hard to believe that the raging woman known as my mother still loved me. But she did, no matter how many lamps I broke. As I grew older, I saw my parents love in a new way. It was through never-ending support. Before I’m about to step on the blocks for my next event at a swim meet, I can count on parents being there to cheer me on. Before every step I dance on stage, I can count on seeing their faces in the crowd. And before every note I ever play at a band concert, I know they will be listening. I also learned the meaning of tough love. I was outraged when I was the only sophomore not allowed to go to the party just because there was no chaperone. I didn’t understand it then, but now I know that they were doing it because they loved me. It is an unconditional love that triumphs over disappointments as well as achievements and successes. The love that was shown to me as such an early age gave me such a capacity to love.

Still the strongest example of love in my life is in Jesus Christ. Growing up in the church has taught me about the greatness of God’s everlasting love. I can remember signing “Jesus Loves Me” as a child in Sunday School. Though I didn’t know exactly what it meant at the time, I knew it had to be important. Through the guidance of my parents and leaders in the church I developed a strong love for Christ. It has led me to the greatest friends of my life and a comfort that can’t be met with anything else in the world. I know that I can count on my friends from church no matter what. They are the best friends I have ever had. To deny this love would be to deny the backbone of who I am.

I know that there are many people who aren’t as blessed as I am and I thank God everyday for what I have been given. When I look at how love has touched my life, through my family, my friends, my faith, and how it has molded me into the person that I am today, I realize that love is the most important aspect of live.