So This is Love

source:samanthaeve

source:samanthaeve

So this is love, mhmm
So this is love,
So this is what makes life divine.

Any girl who watched Disney’s Cinderella as a child might have donned a pretty dress and shoes that didn’t quite fit and, if you were really lucky, a pink or purple plastic crown bedecked with multicolored jewels. If you were like me, you made a castle of couch cushions and danced around inside, humming the tunes of your favorite princess. Honestly, I would be lying if I said that you wouldn’t still catch me singing and twirling around to these songs while doing dishes or folding laundry.

Whenever I watch one of my old VHS tapes of the enchanting stories of my youth, I am amazed at the wisdom stored in the tale. The line with which I opened with comes from Disney’s Cinderella: “Love...is what makes life divine.” The princesses we hear about in stories took love seriously, and were, in the case of Cinderella, literally transformed. They really loved and they lived happily ever after.

At school, I took a theology class dedicated to the Sacrament of Marriage. My professor had started off the semester with the question: “What is Love?” The phrase: “Baby don’t hurt me” often rang out accompanied by the chuckles of classmates, but we soon learned the answer well enough to spit back on a test:

Love is willing the Good of the Beloved.

My professor had said: “I love chocolate but not in the same way I love my wife. I like sweets, but I would not, however, take a bullet for birthday cake.”

Love is a word that is often thrown around. It is said in a swell of emotion between two middle schoolers or teenagers after “dating” for eight days but if people understood what Love truly is, 'I love you' would be a phrase uttered less often but would mean so much more when said truthfully.  Love is a tricky thing to really learn, and most of us spend out entire lives trying to figure out how to do it right.

Love is a choice.

It is not something that is out of your control. You choose to do it and you choose who you give it to. Love is not a great surge of emotion, it is of the will. We are not often faced with the choice to save a loved one by taking a bullet for them, but sacrifice is necessary in loving another. I Love You is not something you say to someone on a whim. When you say these words, you are saying: I give my life to you. You are precious to me and I want you to be truly happy. I want to do everything I can to give you that happiness.

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For this reason, Loving another is a risk. You risk feeling the sting of sad heart. You risk losing momentary happiness to help another gain eternal happiness; however, while that fleeting sadness you may feel hurts, truly loving another gives your heart new life. You will become a better person for Love because it’s a choice you make for yourself and it is a challenge.

This isn’t working out
are words nobody ever wants to hear. Everyone has or will feel the sting of unrequited affections and let’s be honest, nobody likes the horrible pain and the inevitable awkwardness of a breakup. This person became a big part of your life and when they leave, you are left alone with a box of tissues, comfort food, and a plethora of different emotions: surprise, sadness, anger, but how often is Love easy to find in the brokenness?

This past summer I began dating one of my closest friends and he was someone I was crazy about. I really cared about him.

Cared. Past Tense? I had cared about him when we were just friends, why did this have to change after he broke up with me? Why was prayer made so much harder, and why was it harder to really want the best for him, even if he was meant for something greater? Because Love requires selflessness and it is much easier to do when the Love is returned. We are, and forever will be, faced with a choice, We can hold on to anger when another hurts us, or we can choose to Love. We can choose to wallow in self-pity or we can choose to grow as the women God is calling us to be. Loving with a broken heart is one of the most beautiful things a human is capable of doing but of course, anything worth doing is never easy.

You have to want what is best for the person you love, even if it is not necessarily what will make you happy at that time. A week ago, when I began writing this post, these words were so much easier to say. I was only faced with minor opportunities to practice what I now preach.  For weeks, I looked at the boy I had been dating just wanting to kiss him gently and say I love you and now that I sit alone, nursing a sad heart, I have chance to truly mean it.

Love is sacrifice.
Love is transformative.
Love is what makes life divine.


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Carissa Knowd

is a Senior at Franciscan University of Steubenville where she is studying English and Communications. She finds joy in little things like a warm cup of tea or a fuzzy pair of socks. Carissa loves visiting Christ in the Eucharist and wants to use her writings to grow closer to Him.