Thursday, March 17, 2011

What's Left Over

Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.” ~Louis de Bernieres

I'm only 20 years old.

And I don't want to lose wonder or the excitement of the things I have yet to experience in my life. But perhaps this lose, or what could be considered a better understanding of reality, is really just growing up. However, is there any room for being surprised? For finding joy in those things that are yet to be experienced?

Before I went to bed, I was reading a book that was recommended to me. Its about love and successful relationships. In hindsight, I do realize this book is aimed for a more life-experienced crowd, but I read the first 3 chapters and couldn't continue because I was almost brought to tears.

Basically, the author of the book laid-out the reasons why relationships fall apart after marriage. In a nutshell, he explained that the beginning of the relationship is the "in love" part, a time where the two are euphorically happy and also rather obsessed with each other. He then went on to explain that this feeling dies after about two years. At this point (chapter two) I was ready to chuck the book across the room and say "F**K YOU!!" to love and marriage and the inevitable pain that would follow after these two years. Now, knowing that there would have to be some kind of up side to this book (or else it would never have been published), I read through chapter three, in which he described the end of these two years as a time where you become more selfish, realize that the other may be annoying, and in total, "fall out of love with each other". Yeah, I wanted to rip the stupid paperback up. What kind of book was this anyways?? 

The author ended chapter three with the promise that the remaining chapters were a guide to unlock a deep and real love that is more substantial and satisfying beyond the initial "in love" euphoria. I didn't continue because I was already exhausted. I was exhausted because I had just compared my measly experience with love to what the author described, and it made me incredibly sad.

I suppose I am not at a point where I could read such an exposing book on successful love objectively, without comparing it to my own life. For the intended reader, individuals or couples who have suffered a divorce or dysfunction in a current relationship, this book could very well be a helpful guide to turn a relationship for the better. For me however, as a young girl who is single but still healing the wounds of a break-up from a young 3 year relationship, reading these chapters was like spraying peroxide onto a healing but still raw wound. It stung. 

I feel like a classic case, a testament to the example of the 2 year "in love" life-span, and how much it can hurt once the "in love" feeling has taken its course. Its even worse when one person wants to continue and hash out the hard part ahead and the other just wants to give up, calls you awkward and makes you feel unattractive, and then moves on. I know it was a blessing in some twisted way that God only knows.  But reading this book brings it back up to the surface. 

I suppose reading these chapters really made me realize just how much we need God in our relationships and our marriage. How do we survive the end of the "in love" chapter and move on to write the "real love" chapter? I know I am only 19 years old and have limited experience in life, but the only experience I have to learn from spanned across three years and ended around my 19th birthday, and it has been damn hard to heal. It was not because he was anything outstanding, but it was because I wanted to be worth it to him to venture towards the "real love" once we met the end of the "in love", and his rejection made me feel like I wasn't worth it. As I have gotten distance from it, I realize that we were both young and have limited experience to know whether what we shared was something that had more of a life-span, but it doesn't diminish how much I truly liked the boy and how I felt when he told me he no longer cared for me. It felt pretty shattering for a nice chunk of time. 

So if it hurt pretty badly now, I can only imagine how much worse it would feel if the stakes were higher; children, money, emotional investment...

We would BOTH need God, understanding that his plan is right, that we were married for better or worse. Worse will come. On some level, I know how it feels after the initial euphoria, and if you and you're partner are not on the same page about your commitment to each other and God, then it could end in heartbreak much more devastating than what I experienced. We need God here, to remind us that he is in control, and he will help us past this transition in the relationship towards an even deeper, real love that battles the everyday reality with children, finances, loss, and life. 

I'm going to be honest, I do need to remember how old I am. I am only 19 years old. I am doing SO much better compared to last year. I am finding joy in my life, and I'm slowly working against the little self-loathing voice that is telling me I'm awkward or fat or not worth toughing it out towards a deep love. I have met some incredible people this year, true angels from God, reaffirming that everything once said to me to bring me down isn't true. My life has gone in a direction I didn't expect, but I know that without that experience last year with the break-up, I wouldn't be as strong as I am now, with the lessons learned and the new faith I have in God. I have so many blessings, and I trust that God knows what he's doing. 

And on a side note, my parents met at 19, so maybe this subject isn't so far away from me as I thought. You never know. 

So, what now?

Remember that I am only 19. I do not need to figure everything out now.
Enjoy the blessings in the here and now.
Don't mull over events and people of the past, and don't worry about the future. God knows what he's doing.

God, I trust you. Thank you for Delta Zeta and the healing that has come through my experiences this year. I know I haven't been easy, but I'm learning. 

That Damn Aggie!
My lovely pledge class '10 
Grand-big Sarah and Big Hayden!! True blessings.  
Future Roomie Jessica and the lovely April and  Taylor 
Beautiful April

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