The Challenge of Love

Adam - San Jose, California
Entered on May 23, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: love

I believe love can be quite challenging. I’m not suggesting love, as in romance, but love all around. I’ve always found it rather difficult, too, to discern exactly what love is. What is love supposed to look like? How does love actually feel? Can we, as humans, love ourselves and love others all the same?

I don’t grapple with this notion everyday, but sometimes when I am alone or with a group of people it crosses my mind. I wonder how I am mixed up with the group and how I provoke smile and laughter and sadness. I wonder if it might be love, the one word that takes no definite shape. We can love someone we will never meet and we can love someone we see daily.

Growing up I learned to distance myself from people. My childhood was plagued with problems from witnessing domestic violence to drug use from the parents who professed to love me. In those times, however, when my parents were not exchanging punches they were hugging and kissing and laughing: loving each other. Strange to believe such madness will lend itself to episodes of happiness.

Love, as I knew it, was shown to me in various shapes and forms, however. Love came through teachers who taught me that I could one day rise above my situation. Love also provided options for me to move in with a loving family that was founded on stability and gave me room to just be a kid and worry about all the adult stuff later. Love gave me sports.

Love gave me freedom to live depend on others and recognize there is actually love out there. I may never know the actual definition of love, but I have felt it through a close embrace or through a warm bed at night to fall asleep on. Love, oddly enough, has also shown me sadness through loss and through disappointments.

It is through these experiences of mine that, I believe, which make it possible to both understand and misunderstand love. Love has challenged me to risk myself on others wholly even if there is no significant gain for me. For I believe it is inevitable to not love someone at all and that is tough indeed.

I also believe in life we change and love might be that catalyst for those changes. Many will say change is not easy just as love is not easy. I believe I can say those statements are true and as I learn how love takes shape throughout my life, I might come closer to an understanding of what exactly that is for me. Because, love, may be the one thing every human has to find on their own; a journey that teaches us to bond and coexist with not only the world that surrounds us, but the people we may encounter along the way.