What does Love mean?
In a romance story, two characters come together, the entire journey focuses on their coming together, sometimes under the most brutal of circumstances and other times during the most idyllic of circumstances. It's sometimes the best part of my day to read how despite the odds two people make it together. We don't see it enough in our world or maybe we do see it but we don't have the opportunity to mask the burdens of a relationship in a tightly developed plot. Romance novels make it easy for me to consider falling in love. For as long as I can remember I've wanted to fall madly in love.
I've learned that romance stories aren't always love stories and the ability to decern this has helped me see the world a lot clearer. It seems trite to point out that romance novels aren't real. I mean ripped muscles, long gazes, and great sex always!? Come on!
Recently, I've been seeing my characters differently instead of seeing their story as a journey to falling in love. I've started to ask myself, how do they want to be loved? How do they want to reciprocate love?
Those two questions have caused a lot of happily ever paths to be rewritten.
Walking off into the sunset in my stories looks different. It might not be the picket fence, whispered words and I love you always because those things, I know really aren't the truth.
You might be thinking: BUT ITS FICTION!
I get that. Trust me my imagination runs amock with that fact. But there are things I've learned about love that now shape how my characters experience love. I won't allow my characters to not know what real love is. Real expressions of love come with certain conditions for me.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
You see Ada is a staunch Christian. Jesus LOVES me. His love is perfect but my love hasn't always been. I'm learning now that with myself and with my characters and I'm sure the same applies to you, reader; We can all stand to be more patient and kind. We can all stand to give a bit more protection, trust, hope, and withhold negativity in our dealings with others.
I'm writing with this in mind. More patience. More Kindness. More compassion. The challenge though is for me personally and in writing is for these (ideals) to remain throughout the process.