Its such a cliche…
But for me and how I view love, its a formula, and it takes a few mixes to get it just right.
I remember getting the tattoo on my shoulder, “Love Never Fails”.
I had been separated and divorced from my ex-husband for two years, moved across town, got a new apartment for my daughter and I, enrolled her into the best school in the area, and had met a new love interest with whom I was more than smitten. The previous few years had been pretty traumatic having ended my marriage, and through it all, I really was in a place where I felt everything was coming together for me. I was adjusting to being a single mom, I was on my own again for the first time in almost a decade, and still, I had a peace that I had not had in a long time.
One day, I was out to lunch with my sister and a family friend, an elder who we consider family. As we were hugging and saying our goodbyes afterwards, she looked at my shoulder and noticed my tattoo.
“What’s that there on your shoulder?” she asked. I could tell she wasn’t quite fond of the tattoo in the first place and looked very curious.
“Love never fails.” I replied, proud of the slogan.
“Who in the world told you that?” She chuckled seriously.
I just smiled and giggled. “That’s just what I believe,” I replied shrugging my shoulders. My sister just smiled and stayed quiet, not sure what to say in the moment. “You’re a fool if you believe that mess. I’ve been on this earth for 80 years and I’ll tell you, it does.” For sake of just ending the conversation and continuing on with our day, I just smiled again and chuckled and proceeded on to the car. However, her comment always made me wonder, what scarred her to the point where she thought love itself was the failure? She had been widowed from a marriage of 40+ years, was wise in her age and had experienced so much life, and that was her outlook on love.
Why was mine so different in half the life span? Had I just not lived or experienced life long enough?
I don’t think love itself ever fails. People do. I think if we intentionally, in all of our efforts towards another, try to consistently obtain patience and kindness towards each other, we can obtain love. If we are not envious of each other, not selfish towards each other, and are selfless in care, we can obtain love. If we are not rude to one another, if we can slow to anger and listen more, we can obtain love. If we don’t play “tit for tat” with one another, can trust one another, protect one another, can hope and persevere in one another then…
love never fails.
Now, It should never go without saying that we are human and we will make mistakes. No person or relationship is perfect. So, without using that as an excuse for our poor behaviors to slide, are all these elements present and tried before we label a relationship as love, or before we give up on it? Are we at least willing? If not, then how do you know if love really failed? Did you fail because you weren’t consistent in these areas?
Has love failed for you, or have you failed love?