Repost: Excerpt from the book Tuesday Morning Love: 52 Commentaries and Weekly Affirmations to Honor the Soul Within the Souldier, Week 8: Soldier of Love
Posted by Rochelle Soetan
Love is a choice you make every day. ~ Gary Chapman
Some days we win. Some days we lose. Some days we just can’t tell whether we are winning or losing. Those actually turn out to be the best days of all. They are certainly the most fruitful, even if they are not the most enjoyable.
Often times, circumstances seemingly conspire to prevent us from getting what we want. At other times, we are impeded by the events from a more insidious factor, fear. Fear of change, fear of truth, fear of light and love, can all place doubt in the way of progress. But love is a force that endures all circumstances and trumps all fears. Love is often referred to as complicated, but authentic love is not complicated at all. It is giving. It is humble. It is long-suffering, forgiving, and honest. It is amazingly and fantastically wonderful. It comforts. It holds purpose not pride. Love is sweeter, stronger, higher and wider than any ocean floor. It is a journey of both personal and shared experiences, and it is the most addictive emotion on earth.
Webster’s New World Dictionary defines love as “a strong, usually passionate and deep affection for an attachment or devotion to someone or something; good will toward others or the expression of this.”
Love is a call for learning and a compass for living. It is a courageous wave that is timeless and brave. Love inspires us. We seek it. We pray for it. We want it so we wait for it. We breathe it because it embodies us. And at some point, we acknowledge that no matter what the circumstances are – or have been throughout our experiences – we cannot deny it nor can we live without it. Love is necessary. It holds us captive but it also sets us free. Love resides at the inner core of our being. It strengthens us and ultimately keeps us alive.
I suspect that at the core of most personalities is a mystery, a hunger for experience, capacity for pleasure, a need for thought, purpose and the appreciation of beauty. This mysterious life force pushes us to consider that the mystery of who we are is something we glimpse in other people. Usually, the closer we get to the mystery, the stranger people seem to appear. Yet, the farther we are from the mystery, perhaps, the easier it becomes to accept the clichés and conventions about who people are and how we are to love them. But love isn’t a mystery at all. It is a simple manifestation of truth, light and gratitude.
The United States Army, Air force, Navy and Marines define a soldier as “an enlisted man or woman who prepares for combat; a leader; a person who works for a specific cause.” When a soldier is placed in battle, he is to consider many things. However, his focal point never strays from the commitment at hand, which is, to win the war. Perhaps, some soldiers volunteer to fight in battle because they want to fight for something they believe in, where others may serve out of requirement, need or loyalty.
Our beliefs run the gamut. We exist in a disposable society in which we have become a bit cynical and impassive about the need to love and the art of doing so. Sometimes, we invest a great deal of time and energy into caring for others that we somehow forget about our own necessities and emotional nurturing. We may fear that if we place too much time and attention on ourselves, we will lose sight of the love for another, that same love we’ve worked so hard and long to achieve. The truth is, we can never give love to another soul until we learn to love our very own.
Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”
But what if the only thing we have to love is love itself? Why are we often terrified of our own hearts? Why do we give to others but continuously deplete ourselves? Giving love to ourselves is the first commandment. God’s love is the greatest love of all. It restores our faith and mends the broken pieces. It is fearless, the beginning and the end, and the consistent supply that comes from within us.
Like a soldier who prepares for battle, something magical happens when we prepare to love ourselves. We find that this magic, indeed, makes us magicians and all magicians must first believe in the power of their own ability. By placing love at the forefront of your heart, you can gain much needed staying power.
In the words of renowned singer, survivor, international icon and distinctive balladeer, Helen Folasade Adu also known as Sade, she expresses, “I’m in the front line of this battle of mine/ But I’m still alive’/ I’m a soldier of love/ Everyday and night” in her worldwide acclaimed album Soldier of Love. Her often subdued but sentimental lyrics on life, passion, pain, fear, loss, friendship, devoted love, dimensions of love, the language of love – all affirm what is love.
Lend yourself to life. Give yourself to love. Eternally, love is you.