Recently I’ve reflected on everything I’ve done since all this started on 12/12/12. I’ve come a long way. The road behind me is filled with accomplishment, much of which I simply didn’t envision back in 2012.
I can’t say all of my blog posts have been classics, but I do have a post for every week since the start of 2014. That’s almost 3 ½ years of weekly posts, most of which have no comments. I said back then I wasn’t doing any of this for acclaim, and that’s still true today. All I’ve ever wanted was real. You don’t need the attention of others to get real.
That post at the start of 2014 is definitely a classic. I’ve produced a few more along the way. One that keeps coming back to me reminisced about a older friend who lives in Seattle.
We conversed 90 minutes about love, concluding no one can really define what love is. We know when it’s there and when it’s not because we can feel it. But it’s impossible to define exactly what love is.
Love means sacrifice
That conversation transformed me. It’s since led me to ponder this question: What does it mean to love someone? Before that conversation, I thought I knew. Since then, I’m not completely sure I do know.
Part of the answer surely lies in sacrifice, forgoing your own desires to help others fulfill theirs. It’s been almost four years since Tashi died, but I still think about her and how my heart broke. Even a blind man can see I loved that cat. But why?
When I first adopted her, Tashi had tremendous trouble eating properly. Every time I fed her, she would eat as though it were her last meal, which isn’t normal for cats. This and other behaviors led me to wonder if a previous owner had abused her. Of course, eating so quickly caused her to vomit later. Every day I had a new mess to clean.
I spent 11 months training Tashi to eat normally. And even then she never completely stopped vomiting, though it was much less frequent than before. Without my sacrifice, my love for her wouldn’t be as deep as it was and still is today.
Love means selflessness
That conversation with my Seattle friend reminds me of the final midsingles activity I attended there — FHE in my friend’s home. The lesson portion evolved into a conversation in which people were sharing their thoughts about how to grow the midsingles group.
Normally I like to listen to others and learn how they see the world. This evening, however, I couldn’t resist sharing my perspective. And knowing this to be my last activity there for the foreseeable future, I held nothing back.
I declared love is meaningful only when it involves people who are different. Talking to others we like and sitting with others we want around us isn’t all that difficult. We get to stay in our comfort zone.
Conversely, talking with others who are very different and sitting with others we don’t want around us does require us to leave our comfort zone. Yet here love truly has meaning because here we act against self-interest.
The Savior taught,
Love means discomfort
I spoke many other words along the same vein that evening. All together they made some visibly uncomfortable. I rejoiced to see that, not because I have some sadistic pleasure in seeing people squirm but because it meant I was speaking truth. I was getting real.
In the end, I invited everyone to surrender to love. I testified that only by surrendering to love would we ever become the truly supportive group everyone talked about becoming.
Since then I’ve seen singles group after singles group struggle with creating a true sense of community. Leaders who consider singles committees as nothing more than activity planning groups don’t help. No one can come together when everyone has their own agenda.
That will never change until we all surrender to love. Only by forgetting ourselves and focusing upon others will we ever create the community of the support network many LDS singles need in their lives.
Yes, surrendering to love is hard. It goes against the natural man and woman. But the rewards of love far outweigh the price we must pay to obtain it. And having those rewards will bring us more joy in our journey.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and now I produce a weekly radio show to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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