Questions on Love {a poem + ramblings}

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I’ve been entertaining a question recently:

Is it superior to have someone to love or someone to love you?

I say better ambiguously here since better is subjective as is the question. Joan Didion said, “I don’t know what I think until I write about it,” so I attempted to answer my question by writing a poem. Before you read the poem answer the question of what is preferred: someone to love or someone who loves you, and then answer it again after reading to see if it changes — mine did. 


______________________

A soul to love

A soul to know & grow

Maybe sow

A soul to keep

To smile & weep

A hand to hold

Yours in mine

Mine in yours

–Better?

A love to have

Or a love to give

Which does win?

If giving is living

And loving is

Tugging at the heart strings

Connecting your spirit, body, & soul

Then why do I wanna know

Which comes first

The lover or the lovee

The freedom or

To be free

I put my hands on my chest

& I sit here

& rest

Knowing what will be

Will be

I am already Free

Love is a gift

a choice, a price

Love, live, let die

It’s written in the sky

What do the stars scream when

They’re trying to be seen?

Does noise make them noticed?

Get them love?

Or false glances?

We all deserve second chances

Love is all giving

All serving

All accepting

Past, present, future

This moment your motive

Someone to love or

Someone who loves me

Either way I win

& love is around me

Like the sun loves the trees

The trees let us breathe

flowers yet weeds

beauty still pleads

hearts don’t have keys

darling

love always

bleeds

________________________


I think another way to phrase the question is by asking,

“what is love?”

I know my personal definition has changed many times and continues to change throughout the stages of my life. Or maybe understanding love is a part of maturity and not just a word to be thrown around. Are there different kinds of love? The love for a child, the love for a partner, the love for a sibling or parent. Which came first the chicken or the chicken’s desire for an egg? Are all these loves made up of different DNA or one very specific shared trait? Should we throw I love you’s around to anyone and everyone or should we keep them safe for a particular few? Is love a weight to carry or just a responsibility?

As I am writing I begin to realize I am forgetting the most attractive character trait of love – it is born from itself. We are a product of creation – of God. If God is love then we are a product and consequence of love. Not just earthly love but original, pure love. The only reason God made us is because He loves us. He didn’t make us because he wanted control or entertainment or even to be worshipped. He made us because

love is to be shared.

What is love if you keep it to yourself? (This is not the same thing as loving yourself – which is important.) This brings us to my current definition of love: putting others first. Holding the door for a stranger, emptying the dishwasher so your roommate/partner/mom doesn’t have to, picking someone up from the airport. Love is choosing to serve someone other than yourself. A lot of things done out of love are things that no one (including you) wants to do. Ted Hanson says when his wife asks him if he’ll take out the trash she’s not asking him if he’ll take out the trash she’s asking, “do you love me?”

Don’t get me wrong, love is full of things you want, too. Unconditional company, laughter, acceptance, make-outs. But take note, I am not talking about surface level love.

So what is better: to have someone to love or be loved by someone?

You have to answer this for yourself but I choose to love someone else. The earth is full of people so you can easily find someone to love. It doesn’t have to be a life-long love to last a lifetime either. When you serve someone they notice it and will probably remember it most of their life.

I choose to love someone else because love is born from love. As you go around loving it will propel love into action on the planet. Love x love is more love!

If you are feeling unloved and yet full of courage try this experiment. It’s only for those who are mature and desiring happiness because it takes real choice – no one is going to make you do this. I’ve tried it on a bad day or a Monday and it works. Go into your day promising yourself to put others first. Pick up whatever the person beside you drops, pay for the stranger behind you’s coffee, write a thank you note. No matter action you choose on the scale of big to small gestures if you are serving others with an open heart then your day immediately starts to turn around. I promise.

I wrote this poem to help sort out the thought patterns in my mind and it turned into a needed reminder for myself – oops? I keep forgetting that love isn’t one giant moment in time but lots of little things added up over time. This is important to remember as I look into my future and the many dreams I have awaiting me. It’s not all going to happen at once as much as I am trying to convince myself I’d prefer it.

Do you have the same answer you started with or a new answer I haven’t thought of? Let me know! And let me know if you choose to have love or be loved.

(Yes, you really get both)

-CK

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