This I Believe

Emily - Rutland, Massachusetts
Entered on September 27, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: change, love
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Love is the sunset. It is the memory that carries us through the darkness, making us feel safe and warm no matter how low the temperature drops. It cushions the finality of the day, making it easy to slip into oblivion because we know that we aren’t alone. It swirls and reacts to the sun, just as love transforms the people it envelopes. I believe in love–unconditional and full of promise. I believe in the love of parents, the love of children, the love of grandparents, and the love between two people. I believe in the love that makes your heart tangible, something that you can hold in your hands to give to someone else regardless of age, sex, or race: as long as you’re capable of comprehending it. It can be the most comforting force and the most disconcerting, depending on how you handle it.

Love can heal and love can harm. When I was younger, I didn’t understand the nature of love. Perhaps this was because the boundaries between different kinds of love was warped in my perception. The love between a child and parent was different for me, because, although as children we assume adults are omniscient, my father didn’t know where parental love began and ended. Consequently, I was confused about the difference between the forms love comes in. I didn’t think it was worth attention, but I suppose most children don’t. They believe the opposite sex is “icky,” after all, how can they be expected to understand something as complex and confusing as love?

It wasn’t until my teenage years when I met someone who taught me the difference. He told me that parents love children, children love parents, lovers love each other, brothers love sisters and sisters love brothers. These lines don’t intersect, they are very distinct. As I grew to understand these differences I began to fall in love, even though most people wouldn’t believe it. Sixteen is too young of an age to fall in love–sixteen-year-olds don’t even know what love is. I was fortunate enough to have found someone three years older than me who knew the difference. I think the idea that a teenager can’t understand love is false, anyway. If you can love your mother, your father, your siblings, and your friends, why can’t you fall in love with another person?

Omnia vincit amor: love conquers all. It’s a very general, very over-used quote, I will admit, but generally the most overused quotes are that way for a reason. Through all the pain I’ve encountered, love has carried me through and past it so I could become happy. Love conquers pain, and I am a living example of its power. Whether or not I continue to feel the immense amount of love I feel right now, I know I will always appreciate it for what it is. I know that I will always be loved, and I will always have the capacity to love. Thank you for teaching me how to heal.