Have you ever experienced true love? That love that surpasses mere infatuation? If you have, good for you. If you haven't, I'm sure the wise would tell you to wait for it. As the old saying goes, "true love only comes once," although I've often found myself questioning the validity of this quote. I asked a few people whose admitted to experiencing this kind of "one time love", if they believed that it could only happen once and what I found was that their answer lied in their perception of what true love really was. When you here the expression "true love," it's usually referring to a very intense affection for someone that goes beyond the superficial. True love doesn't place unnecessary requirements on their supposed love one or constantly critique or try to correct or change them. But this kind of love grows naturally and isn't inflated by calculated moves. Some may even say that this love doesn't need to be taught but with time is born.
Admitting, I must say that experiencing that genuine kind of affection for someone isn't a common occurrence that happens every go round. For instance, some may find themselves dating and getting in and out of relationships time and time again and not ever make it to Holy Matrimony. They may like the person, care deeply for them, but never to the point where they're utterly and completely satisfied. I guess that's where the calculated love comes into play. They constantly find themselves trying new things and experimenting here and there, not to keep the fire blazing, but because they're afraid without it, they'll fall apart. There are couples who really do share deep feelings for one another but yet never reach the point of complete gratification after making attempts to rekindle that flame that they experienced with their "true love".
I've loved. I've loved to the point of tears and past the point of fears. I've loved while extremely happy and equivalently when angry. I didn't ask for anything beyond who he was because I loved him for who he already was. This love didn't come with adjustments but patience because I wanted to grow with him and each step that we'd take, we would be taking it together. I've also experienced having only deep affection for someone and that involved work. We needed to go out a certain amount of times a month. We needed to be intimate three or four times out of the week. Anything outside that, then we would fall apart because the things that were holding us together were extremely calculated. We each had mandates on one another whether it was body measurements or financial, we needed to adhere to the invisible contract or our invisible and makeshift love would soon dissipate. Again, some love was there, but just not enough to survive. Imagine living in a time when communities shared their belongings and the need for money wasn't as dire to survive. Would that person that you're with suffice? We often dress love in things that we can't build a foundation on.
I do believe that this kind of love doesn't happen everyday, but it is definitely possible to experience more than once. Timing and patience is everything when you're looking for the real. Have you ever experienced "true love," and do you believe that it can happen more than once?
What's your talent? I mean that one thing that you do undeniably well? Mine, humbly speaking, is writing. It was a pleasant gift that God blessed me with to express myself outside of myself. Anyone who knows me understands that I can't always verbally articulate how I'm feeling but when I write it, every emotion is transcendent to the point where the recipient has complete clarity. This capability wasn't materialized from being taught, but it was something that I've always been able to do. I can remember being in the fourth or fifth grade and starting what appeared to be heading in the direction of a novel of some sort. My mother found my little pink pages and quickly discarded them because they seemed a little pass my time. I understand the shock of what she was reading being that I was only ten and was writing a story about a couple with marital issues but what I didn't understand was why she never spoke to me about it. There was also a time when I wrote my first real poem. Upon finishing it, I ran quickly to my father's room to read it to him and two of my other siblings. To my surprise, I was laughed at and accused of not writing it. At first, I felt a little desponded, but later amused. I'd written something that three adults didn't believe that I had the capability of writing. So my question to you today is what talents have you hidden away that can possibly be edifying to someone else?
The very first time that you discover that your talent is most gratifying. You feel privileged and somewhat amazed that you're able to do something with very little effort needed. Now this is not to say that gifts and talents don't need fine tuning. No, on the contrary. Anyone who wants to perfect their craft has to put forth constant effort to see it materialize into something extraordinary. We've all met people who excelled in certain areas but they're always looked at in a sense where they could be so much more if they only applied themselves. I've been hearing this since elementary school. My response was always pretty nonchalant. I was flattered when people saw my potential but not enough to make me actually work at it. At the time, I didn't really see anything special about telling a heartfelt story, although I myself had been brought to tears on some occasions by reading the words of others and sharing in their experience. I didn't understand the inspiration behind it because I didn't believe what was in my heart could actually reach the heart of someone else. I bet you have a talent that not many people know about because you feel like it wouldn't be of much value. Please listen to the words of Dr. Myles Munroe, a great Pastor and Teacher who soon passed away after conducting this interview.
If you weren't inspired to tap into your amazing abilities earlier, I'm more than sure you are now. Your gifts are your direct contribution to this world. Whether it be singing, dancing, writing, acting, artistry, or whatever, take some time to consider how exactly what God has given you can benefit someone else. Some people have the gift of encouragement where they're able to push people beyond their own belief just by speaking motivationally. Everyone isn't able to this and be effective, even when their intent is good.
I encourage everyone who has ever noticed that gem within themselves to nourish and begin to share it with someone else. If you can sing, share it with your children, it just may be the best memory of their childhood. If you can write, be the story through your ink that no one has ever written before. Whatever your gift or talent may be, please don't conceal it, but share it with someone else. Also, take the time to see the light in others. If you notice your child's love for music, encourage them by getting them lessons or taking them to the theater. If they're great at math and have an explorative nature, expose them to the world of science. As quoted by John W. Gardner, "True happiness involves the full use of one's power and talent." So use what you have because you never know how your ability may influence someone else.
Have you ever experienced being at a crossroad where you felt completely helpless in making an important decision? I'm almost certain that you have. Life can often lead us into unexpected territories making us feel like a child lost in an amusement park, where everyone else appears to be enjoying themselves while you're left feeling alone and helpless. Seemingly, these moments happen right before a life transitioning point. Right in the midst of turmoil. Right when you're the most unsure about everything that you once believed would take resident in your life. But amazingly, as depicted in the image above, it's also where your new branch in life begins and your tree evolves. Think about a time when you felt like the next decision that you made would be one of the most important decisions of your life. It could've been deciding if you were going to accept a job position or walk away from one, marry the person that you love or accept that love just wasn't enough, or maybe relocating instead of choosing to stay in familiar territory. Whatever that decision was, it was an important one that came with the chance of losing something in exchange for something that might not pan out to have been a better choice.
Everyday we're faced with many decisions, not because we're incapable of making wise choices but because we're more than capable of it. As was the case with Adam. It is to be noted that God never forces, He only provides the option but not without presenting you with viable information. Its human nature to think first of the present versus dealing with what may come in the future simply because it's easier. The wise people of the world are viewed as distinctive because they've mastered seeing beyond this manner of thinking. A task not easily accomplished but capable of being accomplished none the less. Presented with the tree of life, Adam was told of the reverberation that would follow if he ever ate from it but with very little persuasion, he yielded with the full knowledge to make the right decision but chose not to. Instead of following the Spirit, he followed the mind which has to be renewed daily. The pleasant pleasure exceeded the desire to properly consider the future. But not all of life's decisions are as dry cut as this one but most are. With choices that prove to be a little more difficult to make we tend to lessen our indecisiveness by weighing the possible outcome of each but somewhere, somehow, common reasoning escapes us causing stagnation and a weaker branch to be created. Most of these branches don't usually survive harsh weather. Have you ever seen a couple that looked absolutely perfect together but after a year or so the relationship hit a halt soon to be followed by its utter demise? These branches are like racers that don't run. Being created weak, they bear no leaves because they were never made to grow. Somewhere, a wrong decision was made.
Because it is human to err, we are not left stranded when we choose the wrong turns in life. The only thing you can do is acknowledge where it is that you went wrong, rectify it, forgive yourself, and move on. The betterment of judgment increases alongside the betterment of branches. In essence, as quoted by Oscar Wilde, "Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes." The more experience that you have, the less mistakes you're naturally prone to make. Maybe that's why older trees grow faster.
So be encouraged when you're faced with life's decisions understanding that you're being presented with the opportunity to grow. We're all faced with them but if you're ever in need of guidance; don't be afraid to lean upon a veteran. Learning from those who've experienced like situation can be of great help when deciphering in which direction you may need to go.
Pray, follow your heart, and trust in His plan.