The Truth About Love

“Putting someone’s needs above your own desires.”

“Forgiving someone without consequences.”

“Letting someone have that LAST piece of cake.”

These are all common beliefs of what love has embodied. To each person love entails a different story, but let’s face it: We all start the story with once upon a time and finish with and they lived happily ever after. We have lost our initiative and hope. Love has become generalized.

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there was a girl and a boy….

This single line has boxed our belief into thinking that, firstly, love can only exist in magical places where everything goes as desired and that, secondly, love mainly coexists between a male and female of (more or less) the same age. But love knows no boundaries and has no end. I have found it to be true that love can originate in the most unexpected of circumstances — and not always in a romantic demeanor. For instance, knowing that your sister was the one who broke the vase yet still helping her clean it up and not saying a word to your mother.

Love is the only emotion that is intertwined with every single feeling you experience. Mothers claim they punish or scold their children because they love them. Your father will take you outside for a quick bike riding session even though he has had the longest of days. Love is, in fact, rarely found in magical places but rather in our everyday lives, because how can love be shown if no other emotion has been present?

Furthermore, the hero and the villain in our typical love story have also been rooted too quickly. The truth is that no one on this planet is ONLY good or ONLY bad. Love is not something that some people have and others lack because of the nature of their beings. It is a choice that we make each day: to love wholeheartedly and allow generous actions to flow from it. You can never restrict love, and even though you can spell it, the word is just an underrated scramble of letters to explain something we could never have enough words to describe. Trying to determine if someone is your hero or villain is impossible if those are the only two categories you are trying to match them to. We can all agree that most parents are our heroes, and yet as teens we firmly believe that they are villains (yet we love them just the same). Forget about the classic villain and hero — because what you might think is villainous may be the exact characteristic you need to feel the tingling sensation between your aligned heart and soul that we call love.

Happily ever after literally means being happy for ever, after an occasion. We have been programmed to believe that love and happiness are one when, in fact, they simply unite in certain situations. However, we tend to experience love more strongly when happiness is not included. Think about it for a second: Love is more dominant when life tests our strength of character and selflessness. It is only when you project love that it can be displayed towards you. Even though happiness is essential in giving and accepting love, love should not be restricted to it. Love cannot be proclaimed by a simple smile like happiness can, because love infuses your soul with an unexplainable feeling, incomprehensible to the human brain.

Switch perspective from narrator of your life to character. See, the narrator knows what’s coming and analyzes the predictable outcomes; but, when you embody your own character, you will find love in the darkest alleys of your soul (not in a kingdom far away) and feel most at home. You will love people for their attributes (not classifying them as villains or heroes).

You will live… ever after, knowing that you have written your own story with the pen from which the ink of love flows.

Zéandri Rautenbach is a high school graduate with her adulthood staring her in the face. Even though her name is hard to pronounce even in her own country, South Africa, she wears it with pride. When she isn’t releasing her emotions in a book, she’s showering them out on paper. Nothing brings her more joy than supporting people through her stories, and she hopes that this will one day amount to becoming a novelist. Other than literature: antiques, classical music, and hysterical puns (even though she can’t make them) are her fuel. She can be reached on Facebook or Instagram: @zeandrirautenbach

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