Friday, February 3, 2006

The topic of love and relationships came up today. It got me thinking about my last relationship. I heard some really interesting opinions and statements. (By the way Janae, I completely agree with every opinion I heard you express.) I'm constantly amazed at people's views on what love is and how they "protect" themselves from the hurt that can come in the pursuit of it. This it the main thought that I had, if you want to hear more of my opinions on the topic then feel free to ask, but it's not a topic that I can fit in a blog. It's a hard thing to get on paper period...

You'll never really be IN love until YOU'RE COMPLETELY IN. I believe that the phrase "fall in love" came about for a good reason. It points out what you have to do to get there. I would argue that everyone comes to the point where they're at that edge where they have to choose to back off or make that jump. There's an old french poem/story, and I regrettably do not know the author, nor do I have it memorized, but it goes something like this:
On a journey, a man comes to a cliff and stops to decide what he should do.
He hears a voice that says, "Go to the edge"
The man replies, "No, I'll fall."
The voice again says in a little firmer tone, "Go to the edge"
The man's response is again, "No! I'll fall"
The third time the Voice says in a very firm tone, "GO TO THE EDGE"
The man gives in and goes to the edge, and as expected is pushed from behind.
He begins to fall when suddenly he is given wings and begins to fly.

Now this can be related to spiritual things such as the Atonement of Jesus Christ as well, and that is because it all comes back to one thing; LOVE. We'll never really be able to fly until we experience the power of true love. If we never take the chance of going to the edge and making that step, or even allowing ourselves to be pushed, then we'll never develop wings.
There's a line in the movie, "Batman: The Beginning" that says, "We fall so that we can learn to pick ourselves up again." Only in developing a relationship with God are we given an assurance that we will never fall. He will always lift us up with His Love and give us the power to fly when we make that jump. With people in our lives, we're never quite sure what the outcome will be. But that doesn't mean that we're safer to just avoid being hurt. Sometimes we have to go to that cliff's edge and fall a dozen or more times before we succeed in finding true and lasting love. Sometimes we'll find that love for a while and we'll fly for a time until something happens and we fall even further because we flew to higher heights than we started at. It'll hurt more than it would have originally, but at least we will have learned what it feels like to soar and to be free! We'll know what it is to not have any worries and to just enjoy everything around us.

That analogy doesn't completely express my thoughts, but it gets the point across. I was just reminded today of my last girlfriend and our relationship. I allowed myself to take the chance and jump, even though a frienship was on the line, and I'll never regret having done it. That year was the happiest year of my life, even though it had some rocky moments. Every relationship has a couple. I was ALL in and it felt amazing! I loved waking up everyday and hoping that I'd see her face and hear her voice. I grew so much as I put her first and me second. It felt good to not be thinking of myself. I loved doing something that would make her smile, because my heart would melt everytime she did. I loved feeling her warmth as we cuddled and watched a movie, or as we sat outside under the stars with the cool night air chilling our cheeks and just talked. Sometimes our feelings were said best as we just sat there saying nothing at all. She made me want to be better every day. I wanted to deserve having her by me all the time, even though I knew it was impossible. It gave me hope and a smile on my face even when there didn't seem to be much to smile about. There were so many nights that as I was driving home after just dropping her off or having left her house that I just wanted to shout to release all the joy that was trapped inside of me.

And then I left on my mission for two years in Michigan. The letters started out strong at first, but within the first few months they began to taper off. Another few months and she might as well not have existed. In fact she was dead for all I knew. But the thought of her was constantly their in mind. I couldn't even concentrate some days because my thoughts were so focused on her and why I hadn't heard from her and why would she do this to me? One day I got a letter in the mail and she told me that the feelings weren't there. That they had I read that letter so did my desire to do anything. My heart felt like it had just been violently ripped out of my chest and torn in pieces. There was nothing there but an empty hollow space and a whole lot of pain; sharpt at first, and then it just turned into a dull constant throb. For the first month or two I was pretty devastated. Why would someone who I loved so much, and who I would do anything for do this to me? What happened to the love that was there? Did it just run out on her end? Because I had plenty on my end that she could have. If only it worked that way, right? The months dragged on and in time, the dull pain began to fade, but the empty space was still there. More time passed and the wounds began to heal. After seven months, I finally felt like I was completely over her. There was no longer a thought of going home and winning her back. There was no longer the desire. In less than a year and a half we had both grown so far apart that we were different people anyway. I learned that she had started dating the guy she had had a fling with just before we had started dating. She was happy, and I was happy for her.

I realize that as much as it hurt (and I did think that I would never pick myself up from that as I was going through it) it is a relationship that I'll always be grateful for. The happiness and joy that I had in that year outweighs any hurt and pain that i felt afterwards. I realize that now, as I look back. I have no problem returning to that edge time after time, if that's what it's going to take. I'm not afraid to hit bottom time after time, because eventually I know that I'll have that plunge where I fall. But it won't be into pain, it'll be into love again. And that love will only get stronger as I climb to new heights.

*LOL! If you got this far, then my props to you. As I look back over this it's quite long and I realize it probably seems a little cheesy, but hey, that's what love is, right? Allowing yourself to just let go and not care what it sounds like, or what it looks like. It's a great feeling...

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

You know those times in life where you're not sad, but you're not happy, necessarily? Lately, it seems like I've had a lot of those times. It's a weird state to be in, because I just don't know what I should be feeling. Here's the deal...

A month ago I returned from two years of doing missionary work in Michigan for the LDS church, which I belong to. It was the most incredible and rewarding time of my life. Don't get me wrong, it was also the hardest and most trying time of my short twenty-one years. But that's why it was so great, because I felt the worst and so I enjoyed the best even more when I reached those new heights! I'm totally a believer in the necessity of opposition in all things. Not only that, but I was doing something that I really believe in; something that I really have a conviction of. I was out teaching people about the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and that God lives! It was amazing to see the change that took place in the lives of others, especially as I had the privilege of helping them discover that there are modern day prophets that God calls today just like He called prophets in ancient times. I was able to help them come to an even more clear understanding of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and who They are and why They do what they do as I shared another testament of Christ, called THE BOOK OF MORMON. It's a companion to the BIBLE. It was a really rewarding experience. I loved it! It was there that I found the most happiness that I've ever felt as I was making a difference in people's lives and serving them.

Well, here I am and I've been home for about a month and a half now. I love being back in California, and I love being around my family again. When I first returned home it was great because all of my friends were home from college for Winter break and so I was able to see them and hang out with them too! Life was good and although it was a lot different than the life I had had for the past two years, I was happy because of I was with people I love. So I can't complain at all about that. Now, my friends are gone back to college and here I am just trying to get back into the "real" life scenario again. It's like I said, I'm content most of the time and at times I even just have that feeling of joy inside, where I just have to smile because I feel so good...but it's kind of like I'm looking for a new purpose of how I can help other people, or what I should be trying to achieve. I don't know if this makes sense to the reader, but after doing something for two years that totally consumes nearly every waking moment of your time and is so rewarding; it leaves a lot of...hollow space. Not so much in my schedule, because that can be filled, but mainly in my desire to feel like I've accomplished something every night when my head hits my pillow.

And so my journey has begun. I already know that as I put my faith in the Lord that He will lead me for good, and in the direction which I should take. But what I want to accomplish, what I want to concentrate my efforts on throughout that journey is still not quite determined in my mind. I suppose that as I go along that these things will continue to be made known to me, perhpaps little by little. All I can do is give my all and push ahead. Ready? I am. Here I go...