What can I say? I love deep.
So far I don’t think I’ve met anyone who loves me quite as much as I’ve loved them.
Except maybe my mom.
And one of my friends whose actions have been pretty consistent over the years.
But I used to view that as a negative thing.
“LOVE ME. LOVE ME!” My soul would cry.
“SHOW ME JUST HOW MUCH YOU LOVE ME.”
It was a Bruno Mars song on repeat in my head.
I would catch a grenade for you the love of my life… and you, friend of two weeks… and you, friend of 10 years…
I would throw my hand on a blade for you, stranger on the side of the street… and you, stranger I just met on the plane… and you, family member of mine.
I’d jump in front of a train for you, acquaintance in the elevator… and you, friend of one year… and you…. you…
I would go through all this pain, take a bullet straight through my brain—
I twisted my freakin arm while doing a back bend on your behalf dude!!
I would die for you baby, (Or old person, to be honest)… But you may or may not give me a high five and move on, gosh darn it just LOVE ME.
Praise be to God! Things are different now.
I have one person who loves me more than I can even fathom the concept of love itself, and that person is God. Jesus Christ, beat of my heartbeat, lover of my soul, no matter how many times I keep falling and he’s never let me go. His Spirit is with me day in and day out and honestly, it’s all I need.
That doesn’t mean it’s not hard sometimes to stop the whining voices from clawing through my brain, chanting, “Acceptance, acceptance, acceptance,” but now instead of seeing myself at a disadvantage for loving people with such empathy, I see that it can be used for great strength. I have the power to lift people up to great heights, to encourage them as their number one cheerleader.
And it won’t drain me, it will fill me. Where I used to think “Gah. If only she would encourage me in my vocation as much as I encourage her,” or “Wow, I wish these people interacted with me on Facebook as much as I do my best to throw in words of life to them,” (I know, shallow but honest *insert idgaf emoji here*), now I think “Wow. I have the opportunity to shine so much light every moment of every day when I interact with anyone.” And my love tank is full again.
Because it’s not about reciprocity. I’m not loving people for the return investment. I’m loving them for the adventure. I’m loving them because I’ve been blessed to be able to love them. I’m loving them because this is how I do some of my best fellowship with Jesus.
I don’t mean this in a pretentious manner (though I’d guess there’s an unfortunate degree of that present as well). I’ve just been thinking about different relationships and scenarios in which I pour into people so deeply and get little to nothing in return. Even the relationships I thought were the most solid in my life typically have ended the same— I thought they were incredible, supportive, loving, and kind but in the end I fought for us while they left me in favor of something with greater personal benefit. This is true on both a large and small scale with the majority of relationships I’ve ever had and this pattern has happened enough times to make me wonder, “Is that all?” Is that all there is of relationships? Endings? Endings where I catch grenades and jump in front of trains and go through all this pain while the other person wouldn’t dare do the same? Endings where I hurt and they move on? Endings…
It’s happened enough times to encourage me to be closed off for a time. But as that time is coming to an end, these are the types of things one must think about because opening up to the world is dangerous business. And opening up to other people, of course, is suicide. After living in a gray season of shutting my heart down, I’ve decided I’d rather hurt deeply for people who don’t reciprocate my affection because love is too worth it.
Still, there’s a part of me that will likely always wonder if anyone seemed to care as deeply about me as I did them when I look back on my life at the old age of 108 (because, obviously, I will live that long). But mostly I see myself smiling, thinking about what a full life I lived because I engaged with it, loving as bigly (it’s a word, look it up) as I possibly could. And I didn’t choose that because I was begging for love or acceptance from others, but because I knew I already had more love than I could hold, and I was filled with an incessant need to throw it out like confetti and hike through it as if I were climbing the most ferocious mountain known to man.
What can I say? I’m loving deep.