When I went to Dallas this past weekend to see my amazing blogging partner, Rhonda, in an uncharacteristically spur of the moment decision (one that was for sure fueled by copious amounts of alcohol) I decided to get a tattoo. I know what you’re thinking. Well I do if you really know me or if you read my “20 Things” post.. Ashley, I thought you didn’t do spontaneity? I don’t. And like I said I did have alcohol encouraging me. And honestly, I’ve been considering this tattoo for FOREVER. I’ve been writing it on my arm for months on end. I’d been putting off the exact time – kind of like you do with the first time you have sex. You want it to be beautiful, magical, perfect, at the right time, and with the right person. That’s way too much pressure. In both situations. Just unrealistic expectations. I love the way my tattoo happened. I was with one of my most favorite people. My nearest and dearest. She was there to hold my hand, and write the template for the words that are now forever written on my arm.
Why those words? Why that phrase? My dad actually said it once during a sermon. He was speaking about the sacrifice that Jesus made by dying on the cross for his followers. My dad was saying that Jesus is love. That Jesus is the ultimate representation of love because he chose to love those that did not deserve it and showed that love by sacrificing his life so that they may have everlasting (after)life. Now, I don’t believe in god – or that Jesus was the son of god. I think he was just a man. I do believe in what my dad said though.
Love is most certainly a choice. We are not forced to love anyone. Love for our children is not even something that is always automatic for people. There are plenty of men and women who walk away from their children and never look back. That is not love. We also do not “fall in love” with people. Romantically. I don’t believe in meant to bes and love at first sight. You may meet someone that you can’t get out of your head. It might be hard to stop thinking about them. You may even choose to love them when you know that you shouldn’t. Someone may make it known to you that they love you – and you find yourself wanting to love them back. Even when you may have never given them a second thought before. You can stop that though. Finding love. Loving someone. It’s just truly simple. You just make the choice. And for me. That revelation. The realization that I’m not bound by some mythical fairy tale elusive feeling or state of being – the realization that I can love whomever I chose to. That is so freeing.
When you are in a long term relationship – or when you have children, I think that you really experience and can recognize that love is a choice. You have to choose to love your partner daily. There are times that they do things that upset you, but you want to be with that person. So, you choose to love them. Not in spite of or despite the things they do – but because you want to. The same goes for our children. There are moments that those boogers make you just want to throw your hands up and walk away. But you don’t. Because you don’t want to. Those little humans give your life more meaning than you could have ever fathomed so you press on. You continue to choose to love them.
And equally as important as choosing to love someone – is to demonstrate that love through actions. That can be tricky. Sometimes the way we think is showing our love may not be a way that is recognized by the person we are attempting to show it to. You know – we all have different love languages. The point is. You can choose to love someone. You can tell that person that you are choosing to love them. You can say “I love you” over and over and over…but you need to follow that up with some demonstration. Some physical affection. Some other kind words in a moment of need. Some surprise gifts. Some thoughtful remembrances. Whatever the case may be. If Rhonda is the first one to start writing/editing a post that we are co writing, (like our OOTD posts) she will go ahead and insert my name and make it a heading for me. Why? Because she knows I hated dealing with html. That’s showing love people. Then she did the ultimate act of love by showing me a SHORTCUT to make my own headings without having to deal with html. 😉
Love is simple – but it’s multifaceted. You can love someone or something with never getting any love back. You can love someone and they can love you back – and that can be difficult at times. I just feel like though. If you keep it simple. If you make things basic. If you realize that Love is a Choice and An Action – you can always get back to where you want to be in your relationships and life. Sometimes that means walking away. Sometimes that means pressing on.
I got that phrase tattooed on my arm, because it’s a sentiment that I live by.