I wanted to write about love on the blog, but I had no idea how to start it. Or how to word it. I mean, love is hard to word. So, as one of the thousands of loyal fans who tune in for ABC’s ‘Nashville’ each Wednesday night, I, too, looked forward to the latest episode challenging me and causing me to think. Last night’s episode was a great one, filled with difficulties and choices. Choices like whether or not to love.
Story time: Lennon Stella plays a teenage character named Maddie. She is spunky, loves music, and is learning how to navigate growing up. All the while, she holds the heart of an emotional but strong teenage boy who holds many things in. They made the decision to have sex one night. Since then, things (mostly) outside of their control have wedged them apart. Though, it would be wrong to say their sexual actions haven’t had a hand in said developmental awkwardness. Last night, after months of ups and downs, Maddie boldly ended their relationship with a statement I’m sure stung Colt’s heart but also stung my heart a little bit, too. She put it like this: “I can’t do this anymore. I love you, but I don’t really like you anymore.” Yikes.
(For those that watch the show, disclaimer: I do not agree with or condone all of Colt or Maddie’s actions, I believe they both have made many mistakes.)
All this to say that I believe love is a choice. I believe loving others when you don’t like them is a choice just as much as loving yourself is a choice when you don’t like yourself. I suppose the reason why this statement by Maddie caught my attention so deeply is because this is how many times we love others. We love until it is convenient, or until the going gets tough. But when we get close enough to someone where we can hear their struggles or find out that holding a heart comes with responsibility, we bolt. We get annoyed with the quirks we once found desirable. and in a gradual development of weakness we bolt. This is the trouble I believe people young and old have faced ever since humanity began.
I have learned from my own relationships that prioritizing someone and waking up each day choosing to love them is powerful. It’s the glue that holds a relationship together. It is deeper than sexual attraction or looks that will fade. It’s deeper than the feeling of falling in love, which will fade one day. Saying “I love you” means that you choose that person. You choose to give them the benefit of the doubt always, to stick up for them when no one else will. You will be their shoulder to cry on and their number one fan. Sure, there are many valid reasons for breaking up and I don’t think you should be miserable in a relationship. I do, however, think that far too many relationships end because we stop loving.
I think we need to realize this. But more importantly, we need to fix it. Just some food for thought.