THE STORYBOARD CALLED LIFE

Love Stories: Series Finale

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Love Stories-neon2

Cover art by Katrina Nash of Yours Truly. Check out her work on Facebook and Instagram!

This is the LAST post of the Love Stories series. The pilot is here, Chapter 1 here, 2 here, 3 here,  4 here, 5 is here. 6 here, 7 here, 8 here, 9 here, 10 here, and 11 aka the This is Love Competition winner here and 12 here.

 


Mea Culpa

Ludus

It was all Optus’ fault, really.

Back when people talked on the phone for hours. Optus ‘free time’ gave you unlimited minutes to call anyone after 9 pm. After a youth camp, everyone exchanged numbers (because Facebook wasn’t invented yet). We happened to be on the same mobile network. So the phone calls began. We would talk and talk about everything and nothing; about little things that seemed like big things to my

We would talk and talk about everything and nothing; about little things that seemed like big things to my 13 year old self.  We stayed up all night on the phone so we could watch the sunrise together. Then I realised my bedroom window faced west and we missed it completely, but we laughed until we fell asleep.

It was classic puppy love. The love of your youth, when every moment spent together wasn’t enough. When you made bold declarations and had no concept of consequence.  I was in such a hurry to feel it all. And I did. I fell hard and I fell fast. I felt everything all at once.

He was my first kiss and I hated it. I dreaded our second kiss but turns out I didn’t have to worry so much.

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Eros

It was all Joshua’s fault, really.

Joshua was supposed to come with me to my Year 11 formal but backed out at the last minute. Then a crazy thought entered my head and I ended up asking him instead. We hadn’t really spoken for months, but we’d always gotten along since we broke up. Maybe it would be fun. So we started seeing each other again, and soon had our second first kiss (which was much better than our first first kiss), and by the time my formal came around we were once again ‘official’.

I lost my virginity after a month. The next two years were filled with stolen opportunities and secrets. I thought it was exciting and we were being adventurous. But then the insecurities started hitting, and the gaps in our relationship started to show. How could they not?

I had trusted him with all of me, when I didn’t even know all of me. And I didn’t even know what trust really meant. Or what any of it really meant. All I knew was what I felt and I knew it felt good, but it also felt bad, so I stopped focusing on the bad.

Until the bad caught up with me. And consumed me. And destroyed our relationship. But even after our relationship ended, the lust never stopped. So we didn’t stop.

 

Philautia

It was all God’s fault, really.

God, and His relentless pursuit of my soul. He forced my heart open and made me see me as He saw me. Ever so slowly, I started to learn what love really is by seeing what I am really worth. A woman worth Her Saviour’s life. A woman worth more than stolen moments of half-intimacies.

So we stopped.

 

Philia

It was all uni’s fault, really.

Uni life – when it seems like you finally have all the time in the world but not a dollar to your name. It started off with studying together. He’d come visit my uni or I’d go visit his and we would stay in the library for hours, learning about each other’s passions, and learning just how many lectures we really needed to go to in order to still make it through the semester.

Years passed and we would be each other’s cheerleader through every assessment and every exam. We would have dinner and talk about our dreams and goals. We even joked about meeting up once a month once we had full-time jobs and how different our lives would be. We talked as if we knew we’d always be in each other’s lives, in one way or another. He saw me at every emotional breaking point – celebrated the highest highs, and consoled the lowest lows. He was brutally honest and didn’t take any of my crap. I loved him for it.

He became my person; my best friend.

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Pragma

It was all his fault, really.

He showed me what true friendship means. He pushed me to expect more from myself. He fuelled my belief in myself, so I believed I could achieve my dreams. I started to achieve them. And he started to achieve his. Until we realised that we can achieve our dreams together.

So this time, I didn’t fall in love. Because I realised that love isn’t something you fall into. Because falling is not a conscious choice. It happens by accident. But love is not an accident. It’s a choice, and it’s a decision. So I didn’t fall in love with him, I grew in love.

And with him, I grew into love.

And with him, I’m continuing to grow with love.

 

 


Onion love

Have you ever wondered why others don’t always agree with you when you think something is beautiful? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If something is beautiful to you it is because God made it that way. God specifically designs beauty for you. Like the person that you will spend the rest of your life with. God has moulded and created that person especially for you. It is no coincidence. It is all part of God’s plan.

Society has very easily taken the dignity out of eros. The world has focused on the rawest form of eros – sexual attraction, lust. A sexual impulse that thrives in human weakness where God is no longer present. It is a state of synthetic joy and temporary pleasure that leaves you wanting more, but will never truly satisfy. You will never get enough. Lust is the culmination of animal-like greed for sexual pleasure where emotions are non-existent and the only benefactor is the self. There is no love in lust. Lust at first sight? I’ve fallen in lust? I lust you? It just doesn’t work. It’s totally selfish!

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Lust itself is defined as “adultery committed in the heart.

What is eros in God’s eyes? Trying to understand true eros begins with understanding the deepest yearnings of the human heart. To love and to be loved. Your relationship with God is the best way to immerse yourself in love through personal experience and sacrifice. The relationship you share with God is personal. It is between you and God. This is similar with eros.

Eros: the faithful, self-giving and reciprocal love between God and man, and between man and woman, demands expression in agape, the love, compassion and service for one’s neighbor. Each of these two loves is greatly diminished without the other

Eros is nothing without agape. The love that is poured out within the holy trinity is what gives eros its true meaning. It is the love that is poured out between a mother and father to form a child.  It fundamentally binds God as the foundation that holds firm the attraction you have for the person that you love. (John 13: 34-35)

The mystery of God is extremely evident in eros. God has turned our weakness of the flesh into something amazing. Something beautiful. The initial attraction that pulls us towards another person is a natural human yearning that God takes full advantage of. To love and be loved is etched in our existence. When you are in the presence of mind and your heart’s intention is pure, you can truly appreciate the attraction you have for that other person. In this state you are vulnerable and your defences are withdrawn to make way for the outpouring of selfless love you want to give to the other person. The physical intimacy you share with one another brings great joy. This is because the high, and the happiness you share together is multiplied through Christ. Because Christ opens your eyes to recognize how special that person is to you. Your heart recognizes that the beauty that you are attracted to was ultimately designed by God, and most importantly was sculpted and gifted especially for you.

adam-och-eva

It was part of God’s original plan for Adam and Eve to share the intimate love between one another to ensure their happiness and to fulfil the human yearning of being loved and giving love. This ultimately led to bringing to fruition the ultimate sign of selfless love, bringing life into this world. Procreation. Adam’s yearning couldn’t be satisfied with anything the world had to offer until God created Eve. As humans, we are weak in the flesh and always end up messing up because of sin. Their human weakness overpowered their love for God. We find ourselves in similar situations, falling weak to selfishness and greed and sinfulness. The saying goes, “Good things come in small doses”, but when these doses are abused, it is no longer good.

Have you ever received a present from someone that had no monetary value but yet invoked the most thoughtful of emotions and warmest heartfelt happiness? That is because it was personal, it had meaning, and it was something that only yourself and the gift giver shared with you and only you. It was something only you and the gift giver would understand. This is no different to the gift that is presented especially for you by God. The gift of another human life, for you to love, for you to receive love, and for you to cherish, nurture, and grow old with. Another human life that will reciprocate the love you give them. Intimately. Spiritually and physically.

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One of my most intimate experiences is also probably one of the most embarrassing recollections I have had to make. I can vividly remember from many years ago the time that I first caught a glimpse of this girl. At the time I had no idea who she was. She had this radiant glow about her face that I just couldn’t ignore.

That situation could have been interpreted in a totally different way if we were to welcome society’s idea of eros, but in essence, my heart’s intention was pure and all I can remember is how that attraction made me feel. From that initial moment when I first saw her, I was physically, emotionally, and spiritually attracted. It was an involuntary feeling that I couldn’t control. I didn’t even realize then that I’ve never ever felt that way before simply by seeing someone so beautiful.

For this reason, alone she stood out amongst the crowd and I instantly wanted to be a part of that girl’s life. More so her life than anybody else’s. At the time I didn’t care in what way I would be a part of her life, I just wanted to be a part of it somehow. In that moment, I knew that this was special. That she was special. In that moment, I was vulnerable. All of those desires and feelings were activated the moment I was attracted to her. The more I got to know her the more special the relationship became. The more I wanted to be a better person. The more I wanted to know more about her. About her past. About her family. About her life. The more I wanted to be around her. The more her physical beauty was highlighted as I found out more about her inner beauty. Spending time together became natural. WE became natural. (*Queue music… Joe – I Wanna Know [anti-lust remix])

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Looking back at it now, boy was I head over heels… how embarrassing! I recognize that it was all part of God’s plan. He orchestrated us to cross paths at that precise moment, for us to become friends during those wonderful months, and for us to become one when God affirmed that we were to wed each other and love each other for eternity. Would I change anything if I could go back and do it all over again? No way. The uncertainty, the fear of rejection, the satisfaction of acceptance, the sensation of touch and caress from somebody that you cared so deeply about. I wouldn’t change any of it. That intimate attraction we had for each other was amplified in a way that I cannot possibly describe with any other words. That initial attraction was the gateway to the beauty within. It’s all about the journey and the wonderful revelations that are uncovered over time. This reminded me of when Shrek told Donkey that he was like an onion. Each layer peeled back revealed another layer. The more layers I peeled back, the more I wanted to know. The more I wanted to give. The better I wanted to be. The more I wanted to grow in understanding. And all just for her.

“ Shrek: Ogres are like onions.

Donkey: They stink?

Shrek: Yes. No.

Donkey: Oh, they make you cry.

Shrek: No.

Donkey: Oh, you leave em out in the sun, they get all brown, start sproutin’ little white hairs.

Shrek: No. Layers. Onions have layers. Ogres have layers. Onions have layers. You get it? We both have layers.

Donkey: Oh, you both have layers. Oh. You know, not everybody like onions.”

Eros is more than Jack Dawson and Rose in Titanic. Eros is so much more than Romeo and Juliet. It is intimate, personal, life giving, unique, and brings out the best in you. EROS and AGAPE are huge blessings. Blessings which should never be abused, but cherished.

What is your heart telling you? What is its intention? eros is so beautiful when you can place God in the center of your intimate relationship and can honestly not feel ashamed or guilty. Let’s strive for perfection in understanding and practicing eros and agape. Cherish the love you have been given and give more love to be cherished. May God reign in your spiritual and physical journey.

 


 

It may have been the time when he asked my parents if he could ‘court’ me.

It may have been the time when I knew he would do anything for me.

It may have been the time when he told me I was beautiful even though I was truly upset about my physical imperfections.

It may have been the time when I realised we had survived years of being together and could count the number of ‘fights’ we’ve had on one hand.

It may have been the time he left all the comforts of his life to move across the world with me at a time I really needed him.

It may have been the time he cooked me dinner when I had to stay back late at work.

It may have been the time when he’s made me laugh so hard that I seriously couldn’t breathe.

It may have been the time he showed me he loved me through his everyday actions.

It may have been the time when I realised that our love was just so…..easy.

All these things put together, made me know without a doubt, that he was the ‘one’.

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Series Finale

Love hurts. Love is a choice. Love takes time. Love moves in mysterious ways. Love is an Open Door. Love is a verb. Love is kind. Love is a laserquest.

To love at all is to be vulnerable. To love is to give a person a part of you and the power to hurt you. To receive love freely is the most beautiful thing ever. When it isn’t free, is it really love? This is what I think about when I think it’s silly that we have free will. #Godjustwantstobeloved Now I can just imagine God on his mobile waiting for a text.

There are many types of love. Each love story plays out differently and requires something different to keep it going. Some love is demanding, requiring you to wake up in the middle of the night. Some love you won’t see for months at a time but you pick up where you left off. Some love endures the test of time, even without the guarantee of being reciprocated. Some love isn’t really love at all.

In the pilot, I talked about how most of the time if a boy likes you, you will know. But this doesn’t blanket all love. Sometimes love is tough. Love disagrees. Love disciplines. Love can f*&$# suck. But just because it isn’t what you want it to look like, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t love. Love isn’t confined to only one type of love. Love can be storge and agapic at the same time. Just because it’s philautia now doesn’t mean it can be eros. It may not be eros forever.

On a bit of a tangent, eros love can often be considered sinful, because its cousin is lust. This differs from all the other types of love because eros focuses on sensuality and self. Whereas the other types of love focus on relationships and others.

Even after all the stories and all my research, I still don’t have one unifying message to share, but one that I seem to always impart is: Be careful with your heart. Some people are not worth that part of you or the tears. But some people are. Love is not only love if it is mutual. Love is willing the best for the other, no matter the cost to you.

One thing I do want to share though is that you can’t change people’s experience of love. Even if you were next to the lover, or even the lover’s beloved, you can’t change what they feel or how they experienced it. Even if you never intended it or if you think they were being dramatic.

There are as many love stories as there have been days in the world. Don’t miss out. At what cost will you love?

Your life is a story. What kind of story is your life telling? Who is the beloved in your story?

 

 


 

 

I want to say a massive THANK YOU for everyone who has contributed to this series. It has been a blast for me and I have felt so honoured to read, let alone share your stories. The specitothing about this post is that I pretty much wrote myself out of the narrative, I  just brought together a few beautiful stories in the hope that they give just that, hope.

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Written by Candice

July 19, 2017 at 11:40 am

Posted in Love Stories

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