23 October 2013

As I Have Loved You

I love. I love a lot. I love too much. I love to a fault and without reservation. I love with every last ounce of me. You want my heart? Take it. You want to be friends? Best friends we are. You want to feel loved? I will give you that and more. Scared yet? Me too!

The earliest I remember feeling this was when I was a little girl, probably around the age of twelve. My dad and I were picking up a pizza for dinner, and as we left Little Caesars I noticed a man sitting at a table by himself. I remember walking out the doors, looking up at my dad with teary eyes and asking, "what if that man eats that pizza by himself? What if he has nobody else to eat dinner with tonight?" I vividly remember my dad lovingly looking down at me and saying, "Kenna, he's probably just waiting for his pizza to be ready so he can bring it home to his family!" The entire way home I couldn't shake the genuine concern I had for this man, hoping whole-heartedly he had someone to enjoy his five dollar pizza with.

Last year I came across an unfortunate video of animals being mistreated, and week after week I couldn't eat meat. One day when I was grocery shopping with my mom, she put some super nasty fish flesh in our cart, and I immediately got this ever so large pit in my stomach. Granted, I was going through a billion of other sad things, which I know intensified those emotions, however my spirit was still sad and discouraged for this little helpless dead fish that my parents would be eating for dinner.

Because I am the way I am, sad situations are usually infinity times more sad than they actually are. I feel more. I experience more. I hurt more. And good heavens I love more.

Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, an American psychologist and professor at John Hopkins University, has to be one of the most intelligent and beautiful human beings on the earth. She has written books and been very candid on her struggles in life, including depression, divorce, and death, all of which, again, she has experienced firsthand. Dr. Jamison says this: 

"As a result... I have felt more things, more deeply; had more experiences more intensely; loved more, and been more loved; laughed more often for having cried more often; appreciated more the springs, for all the winters; appreciated it - and life - more; seen the finest and the most terrible in people, and slowly learned the values of caring, loyalty, and seeing things through. I have seen the breadth and depth and width of my mind and heart and seen how frail they both are... I have been aware of finding new corners in my mind and heart. Some of those corners were incredible and beautiful and took my breath away and made me feel as though I could die right then and the images would sustain me. Some of them were grotesque and ugly and I never wanted to know they were there or to see them again. But, always, there were those new corners and... I cannot imagine becoming jaded to life, because I know of those limitless corners, with their limitless views." 

Let me be honest, there are days I straight up wish the Grinch was my father, resulting in me being born without a heart. I wish I could blame the absence of those raw feelings on genetics. But I know if those painful feelings went unfelt, the love and happiness and gratitude I have come to know wouldn't be nearly so sweet. Chances are, when I see an accident on the road I will pray for four hours, desperately hoping they are okay. When my heart is cracked, it usually means that it's shattered and the pieces have gone missing and will never be found. And yes, I am going strong with my vegetarian lifestyle, because I can't handle the thought of animals in my tummy. 

As much as this  - at times - may be a burden, I also know it is one of my greatest blessings.

I hurt more than I probably ought to. I feel more than I would like. But the added amount of happiness and love I experience are absolutely and inexplicably irreplaceable. I love my Heavenly Father and Savior for the not-always-wanted, but inspired, talents They have graciously given me. I love Them with my whole heart, and I will forever be grateful for Their example of ultimate pure, unyielding, never-ending and overwhelming Christlike love.