This I Believe
I believe in love: puppy love, first love, straight love, gay love, true love. Young love, old love, I know the way you take your coffee love. Mother love, baby love, you’ve got ten fingers and ten toes unconditional love. I believe in big love, crazy love, shave your legs, this could be the night love. Scary love, new love, I finally found my long, overdue love. Brotherly love, sisterly love, I will be there for you in your weakest moment love. I believe in deep, enduring, hair-raising, toe-curling love. Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday and not because of my chocolate love.
So intoxicating is love that it can erase pain, survive betrayal and overcome inadequacy. At its best, love can move mountains, at its worst it is paralyzing. At twenty-five, my mother died almost a month to the day after the birth of my first child. We were best friends. In the days following her funeral, my grief was a blanket that anchored me to my bed. Early one morning, in between bouts of uncontrollable tears, I heard her familiar words echoing in my head. “You only have two choices, to be life-giving or life-draining, to give life or take it away.” Not exactly what I wanted to hear when I was sixteen and lamenting that the boy I had wanted to ask to Sadie Hawkins had been scooped up by one of my friends. At a time when gravity was more an enemy than a friend, her sage advice lifted me once again. In that moment I chose to love my daughter beyond my sadness. I chose to see my relationship with her as my opportunity to pass on the gifts given to me by my mother. In choosing love we compromise, encourage, listen, hope, and believe in the impossible. It may be old-fashioned, out-of-touch and politically incorrect, but I believe in love. Through two marriages, the birth of my children, and the death of both my mother and brother, love has been the driving force that has sustained me. Love is what motivates me on the darkest day because I have resolved not to leave this world without my fair share of love.
I believe we need to rediscover how really BIG love can be because love is our greatest and most precious natural resource. I believe if we were to fuel our time, talents, possessions and intellect with the same fierceness we love, we could effect real change. So what is holding us back? Truth be told, love is one of the most misused words in our society and thus has been marginalized. To choose love is the tougher decision, the harder road and therefore the one less taken. It takes courage to choose love, but I believe we must because to love is to give life and it is our only hope for a happy ending.
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