We often think love is only a positive thing, and while there are a lot of amazing things that happen when we love someone, there are some things that are unexpected. Feelings and experiences that are hard to go through, hard to understand, and hard to accept, but we do because of love.
It does not mean we should fear love, or reject it, because then we would be missing out on one of the greatest emotions of our human lives. But, if we are aware that love does not come cheap, but rather at a price, then we can accept those challenges and let them refine us rather than destroy us.
Here are just some of the prices you may pay for love:
Whether it is because you are up with a crying child, worried about something your husband is going through, or waiting on your teenager to come home, loving someone means losing sleep over them. Of course, it is a bit easier to stay awake when you are staring into the eyes of your newborn baby, or pulling an all-nighter with your spouse so he can pass his college exams and move on to a better career. In the end, it is worth it.
When you love someone, you take on their problems, their challenges, and their difficulties. This just adds to your stress. On the reverse side, you may find that your personal stress is less because you have someone helping you through your problems. Just know you will stress over their problems just as much, or more, than your own problems. It may affect you more when they are upset then when you are, and this can add to your overall stress.
You experience a roller coaster of emotions
You may find yourself really connected with the person you love, so much so, that when they are happy, you are happy, and when they are sad, you are sad. Your emotions are intertwined, which can be good and bad. Just as you are connected with them, they are connected with you. This means you don't necessarily have to join them when they are down, but rather you can help pull them out of their slumps. It takes a lot of energy and of course love to do that, and you may find yourself riding the emotional roller coaster more than you thought you would.
When you love someone, they may disappoint you. Your child may make a mistake that really upsets you. Your spouse may forget your anniversary or birthday or someone may not live up to your expectations. These are all things that you cannot control, but because of the love you feel, you are affected by that person's actions. When this happens, try to remember all the times they didn't disappoint you, or they surpassed your expectations. Everyone makes mistakes; it does not mean you stop loving them as a result.
Loving someone means making sacrifices. Whether it is something small like not watching the TV show you wanted to watch, or something big like moving across country to support your spouse's career. Love means sacrifice. It means giving up what you want to make someone else happy. It means not letting your own desires stand in the way of the good of the relationship. It does not mean losing yourself completely in someone else's shadow, but rather not minding giving something up because of the love you have for them.
We may not always understand love. We may not understand why someone did what they did, or why we feel the way we do. Sometimes love does not make sense. We may even question if we really do love someone. What does love really mean after all? Is there a difference between love and lust? Or love and duty?
These questions are normal, and something we may feel more than once. Love is complicated. It can take work and effort to maintain your love. Just because your relationship may need work, does not mean you do not love someone. It can be easy to love someone when things are going good in other aspects of your life, but it is continuing to love them through the bad times; that really counts.
At times, our loved ones may do something to really break our hearts. Cheating on us, fighting with us, lying to us, these are all things that may cause us heartache. It is not easy to recover from these feelings, and we may not fully get over some things, but that is a confirmation that we really do love them. If we did not, we would not be affected by their actions. Love can be risky. We are giving all of ourselves to someone else, and they have a power over us. But the risk is worth it.
All of these prices we pay for love have a reverse side. Yes, we may lose sleep, but you are spending your waking hours caring for someone who makes your world go round. We may have added stress, but we can learn to share our burdens and get advice on your own difficult situations. We may experience heartache, disappointment and confusion, but we also get to experience so many more happy emotions such as euphoria, thrill, affirmation, bliss, tenderness, and passion. We pay a price for love, but in the end, that price is nothing in comparison to what we get in return.