I could sit here and write how hard it is to be a mom, a wife, a full time worker or how difficult it is to understand why the people we love suffer and make choices that hurt the people they love. But, I won't. While I feel and ponder on those things, the reality is that while all aspects of life can be hard, or just hard work, I am grateful for love.
One of my favorite movies is "Dan in Real Life." In the movie his teenage daughter is adamant that she is deeply in love with her young boyfriend. Her young boyfriend tells her father (Steve Carrell) that "love isn't a feeling. It's an ability."
While this is attached to a more funny part of the film, I have always loved that adage. And the more I live and the more I love, the more true his statement is.
Love IS an ability.
I have stated a few times in my codependency blog how love and fear cannot exist together. Being a mother and a wife it's difficult to let fear go, especially when you're concerned for the well being and future of those you love. But, faith casts out fear. And with faith comes hope...and love.
How easy is it to love? Does it depend on the person you are with? Does it's ease hinge on the behavior of those you are around? Can love be unconditional?
Maybe I'm strange to be asking these questions. But my life has taken so many turns over the last 18 months, that I have found myself desperately seeking answers.
I haven't come to any certain conclusions...yet. But, I have realized that for me, loving is easy. Loving while experiencing pain and heartache is easy. That's why our hearts ache. Because of love, either coming or going. Loving while scared or angry...not so easy. But, that doesn't mean that the love isn't there. So what makes love unconditional? Acceptance? Gratitude? I think it's both of those things, but mostly I feel that unconditional love comes from 2 things: Love of our Savior, and forgiveness.
Love isn't questioned unless there is an act or a thought that provokes the question. Forgiveness of that act will bring the love center again, and whole. The only way to truly forgive, is through the atonement of our Savior...through His love, and our love and appreciation of and for Him.
The trick now is to acknowledge what I now know. To let go of fear and doubt. To embrace the atonement and forgive. It sounds easy. Just like love. But, it is work. And faith without that work is dead.
I am grateful for the knowledge I have of the Savior and His love for me. Even when I pull away from Him in fear, anger or despair, I know His love is unconditional, because I know He forgives me when I need Him to. He paid the ultimate price for my forgiveness!
With Him, though we may experience challenges, loving IS always easy.