I believe in love, but it’s such an abstract subject. It’s hard to say what it really means when the use of the word varies from “I love you from the bottom of my heart,” to “I love that puppy!” It’s hard to give the word validity when people go from loving a song and the next day hating it, and then to the unconditional love that is indescribable. So it’s hard to put stock in such a belief.
Every day, I say the word “love” more times than I can count. “Morning Mommy. I love you.” “Did you see that show last night? I loved it.” “You’re so funny! I love you!” “I love reading.” “I love sleeping.” And we all know the story of the boy who cried wolf. So what does it mean when say I love something or someone? Nothing, right?
Completely wrong. I use the word love because I mean it. Of course I don’t love my family and a television show in the same way, but I do love. Some say it’s not possible to love that much. But do I have just reason not to?
I’m forever an optimist. I cant keep smiles off my face. I have no empathy for the person who hates without just cause. I greet each day, each person, each experience, with a happiness that doesn’t come from something good that happened to me that day, but because I love.
My love for my family and friends is a constant motivation. My love for God is the cornerstone of my life. My love for life is what keeps a smile on my face everyday. I can’t hold a grudge because it’s not in my nature. I cant say with any honesty that I hate a person because I always find some good. I don’t feel prejudices to any type of person because, being a short, deeply spiritual, African-American who goes against the stereotypes of how African-Americans speak and act, has her own deep, personal, and unbreakable faith, and is 4’11”, I understand that differences are a necessary part of life.
And, I love myself, although not in a self-centered way. And all this talk of how much I love can be taken as me thinking I’m perfect. But I’m nothing if not a bundle of imperfections! And of course I’ve gone through the pains of self-consciousness, and of embarrassment over mistakes, but finally I’ve been able to look past that. And that is why I love myself. I know who I am and I’m proud of myself, and if that’s not a reason for me to love myself and the world around me, than what is?
So I say I believe in love. You argue that it’s senseless. But saying I believe in love is saying that I believe in what keeps me going day after day. It hasn’t failed me yet, so can you really argue against what’s been my biggest strength, and my greatest achievement?
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.