The Lifeline of Love
Love is the imprint stamped on the walls of our souls.
My absolute favorite writings on love are found in the Bible.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7New International Version (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
This beautiful scripture embodies what true love is. Anything outside of this definition is another sentiment, not love.
It has become apparent to me that whether the action results in a positive or negative outcome, love is the often mysterious motivator behind most of our actions.
I believe that we are programmed to align with love and from this emotion, we are either empowered or victimized.
I found true love at the age of 14 although I was too immature, broken and bound to recognize it. Still riding the frequency of “powerful single women not in need of a man syndrome”, I thought I’d humor myself because that’s what girls in high school do, date right?
To my surprise this young man was seemingly different from the rest. He had a level of maturity that I had not encountered. We were both shocked when we discovered that we were in love. You know the puppy love kind. I would venture to say that we could have imagined our lives together in the future.
My mother adored him. We spent countless hours together such that he taught me to drive. He treated me with so much care that many of our friends would deem our relationship to be a match made in heaven.
Because I had no point of reference for love, I would eventually self-destruct.
Our puppy love would span for a total of 6 years. We were absolute best friends and he was closer than many family members. We grew up together and bonded as if we had know each other our entire lives. When it ended, I had no remorse. It was as if he had never existed. I was just that cold-hearted. I had used this same method to overcome the absence of my father and the associated hurt.
I would later learn that my “Queen of Ice” disposition was a cowardly coping mechanism that I had used for so many years to shield myself from the hurt and impact that the loss of relationships and people could have in my life.
Had I known love, I would have clung to him and held tightly. Had I recognized love for it’s true value, I would have never interchanged it with the notion that it was dispensable.
Had I known love, I would have understood the magnitude of it’s immeasurable value.
Had I known love, I would have given it in return for it is the greatest gift that we can share and unwrap.
As life progressed, I returned to my non-believer sentiments on love and lived in a self-destructive and sarcastic state of mind focusing my attention towards attaining success in academia in college. I could guarantee my success in this arena. I could control it because the outcome was a direct result of my actions. Love doesn’t allow us to control it. It just occurs. This reveals the reason that it so often frightens us. It is quite possible to love and lose. Why would anyone risk everything for a possible failure?
In my mind, this strategy or imaginary feeling was neither smart or strategic and lacked witt.
I later realized that I had not only given up on love with the opposite sex but I had lost my hope in people. I believed people to be dispensable although there were many whom I valued immensely. This empty nest in my heart would cause me to question the need to give, receive and replenish love in our lives. Were we really all placed here to covet and not share or receive love? The most glaring reveal was that I never believed that I deserved to be loved so I didn’t.
4 years later, God granted me a do over. He reinstated my overdrawn bank account and allowed me to rediscover the same love that I had allowed to slip through my hands like grains of sand. My high school sweetheart asked me to be his wife and without hesitation I obliged.
Not only did God grant me love but more abundantly. Our union was solidified by 3 amazing children who teach us daily how to be better human beings and how to love.
Now I understand that love does not have to be forced. It just is. Just as we exist, love exists and we get to decide where we will place such badges of honor.
After being granted what I feel is an overabundance through marriage and motherhood, I place love badges in as many locations as I can touch. I now recognize that the more love we give, the more replenishment of love we receive. Even when we feel that we have lost, we have only gained because love simply can not be lost, only replenished. We must recognize that we are deserving of it and most importantly qualified to share it with others.
When we love ourselves, our worth is increased thus, we have the power to love others and change the world. Love is power.
I share this excerpt from my book A Heroine in Heels today because I celebrate the birthday of the man who saved my life and I am proud to call him my husband but even more proud to call him my best friend. If you are reading this, may God grant you an abundance of love in your heart to heal, love and live. All my love. ❤️
Ardre Orie, Author| Film Director| Advocate
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