How often do you hear or say the word love each day? Love is a word that, once upon a time, carried deep meaning. Now that same word is flippantly thrown around when talking about snacks or movies or songs or literally anything in existence. I’ll admit, I too am guilty of overusing “love.” I say how much I love a particular bagel, my morning coffee or “How I Met Your Mother.”Nevertheless, it puzzles me how a word with such intense meaning has lost almost all of it’s value. “Love” used to be a word people would get weak- kneed thinking about let alone saying, love was a heavy word. It was so big and important that the Greeks had four different words for “love” and each had a different connotation. I think the Greek language is brilliant in that sense and the English language should follow suit because my love for coffee and bagels is not the same as the love my parents have for each other.
Because our language doesn’t have a way to differentiate between bagel love and relational love, I say there is lowercase “l” “love” and uppercase “L” “Love.” I think as teenagers we sometimes have this idea that Love is easy and that the hard part is finding it. Sure, we know there’ll be some fights here and there but it’s Love, and Love conquers all right? Well I’m only seventeen and I’ve got exceedingly minimal relationship experience however I do know that true real and pure Love is difficult and it isn’t a Disney movie.
I think one of the biggest surprises for teenagers, and people in general, is how inconvenient Love is. We boast about how competent we are in the Love department, swear we are willing to put in the extra effort… that is until we realize just how much effort that is. Love isn’t convenient. I repeat: Love. Isn’t. Convenient. Love isn’t some fluffy feeling with stars, hearts and rainbows, it’s not a victory march. It isn’t a Nicolas Sparks movie or an old Taylor swift song (ex “Love Story” or “You Belong with Me”). Love is hard. Love is giving up your needs and wants for those of others. Love is driving for miles to help a friend. Love is staying up until the sun rises just talking about life. Love is getting food for someone who hasn’t eaten in days instead of buying gas. Love is cleaning your room because it will excite your parents even though that makes no sense to you. Love is listening, even if the topic seems utterly insignificant. Love is no questions asked, no judgements passed. Love is making choices that hurt, but are for the best. Love is sacrifice. And that can be brutal.
Because we perpetually believe that Love is going to, ultimately, be easy, it comes as a surprise when it isn’t and that causes people to develop a fear of Love. I can’t resist bringing up a “Star Wars” quote from Master Yoda: “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” “Star Wars” is fiction and this quote isn’t referring to love, but the point remains. Fear of Love and letting people in leads to anger for previous circumstances which forms into hate. Hatred of Love, hatred of certain people, sometimes, even hatred for oneself. All in all that leads to suffering. Valentine’s day can be hard, and every year the same anthem that Love is dead or evil or cruel is proclaimed from the rooftops. However, I think that idea is just perpetuated by hurt because everyone buys into the idea that Love is like a Disney movie: it’s easy, birds sing and everything ends with a ribbon and “happily ever after.” That’s a cute fairy tale, but real Love, while more painful and inconvenient, is so much more fulfilling than anything else.
Love is inconvenient, and in a time that emphasizes, even craves, convenience, the thought of Love seems exceedingly daunting. However at the end of the day, Love is worth any hurt or heartache.