My shin hurts. Every time my left foot steps down, I get a little shooting pain right up through to my knee. This is because I made the silly mistake of thinking I should improve my physical state of being and go running the other day. Actually, I should say "running" because I probably made it about 2 miles before I decided I hated myself. Apparently my left shin was in exceeding agreeance because it continues to pain me today saying, "ABBY! What have I told you about making me move faster than a brisk walk? I'm going to get you for this one..." So yeah, my shin hurts. But don't worry, this is relevant.
Yesterday I was having a brief conversation with people about running, and I made the point that I'm bad at it and I dislike being in pain. One of my friends said, "But see, you have to get to the point where you enjoy it, then it's really not bad at all." Or something to that extent. I don't have a perfect memory. Of course this kind of rolled off my back like water on a duck because I can't envision a world where I enjoy feeling like I'm going to die. At any rate, this conversation didn't really seem important until today, Valentine's Day. (Oh, yes, I'm going to tie this allllll together.)
Today during chapel we heard about love (of course) and how it materializes itself in the Christian life. I thought, "This is great. Maybe I'll find my sentence about love." We all know sentences about love. "Love is composed of a single soul dwelling in two bodies." (Aristotle) "Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own." (Robert Heinlein) "When you are in love you can't fall asleep because reality is better than your dreams." (Dr. Suess) Etc. Etc. Etc. I've always been intrigued by short statements about love because it seems as though it should be impossible to sum up such a complicated emotion in 10 or 12 words. And yet it would be nice if we could, because then I could use that little mantra as a standard for all of my relationships. So I'm in chapel and I'm thinking maybe I'll hear THAT sentence, the one that puts love in a neat little package.
Well, it didn't happen, but as I was leaving, I thought "UGH MY SHIN HURTS!" Cue lightbulb moment. This pain in my leg was the result of me trying to do something good for myself. Theoretically, (at least according to my friend) if I were to keep running, the pain would go away and I might actually enjoy myself in the process. And I think love is a little like that. It sounds like a great idea, and when you start off, it's not bad at all. In fact you might be thinking, "This is great! I can totally do this." Later though, you're a few miles down the road and you're tired and it hurts and all you want to do is stop. Just turn around and go home, because it would be easier than pushing yourself any further. Love is actually feeling pretty crappy right about now. But true love is persistent. Eventually, you get to the point where you even enjoy the hard parts because they're all a part of the experience that is sharing your life with another person.
And from there...well, I'll tell you when I figure that part out. As a single gal, I have to say you may want to take this post with a grain of salt. I haven't fulfilled my own running/love analogy yet. But hopefully I will someday. And in the meantime, my love sentence is as follows:
Love is when your left shin hurts, but you go out running again the next day.
Happy sparkly Valentine's day, one and all.