**LJ Idol Season 4 Week 14 Entry: The One I Love/Love Stinks**

The way we love today is not the way we loved in the past or the way we will love in the future. Love constantly changes. It is a living breathing beast just like the rest of us.

There are many things in this world that I love. Likewise there are many people I care for. How do I choose only one when the love for them each is so different.

If you read the Bible, all the lessons boil down to three great commandments: Love thy God. Love thy neighbour. Love thyself.

I easily love my God. Like the hymn says, “My God is an awesome god”. He loves me in spite of me, He sacrificed His son for me, He made a way for me to return to Him. I would be lost if not for God. How better can I say it than in the hymn, ‘I Stand All Amazed’?

I marvel that He would descend from his throne divine
To rescue a soul as rebellious and proud as mine
That He would extend His great love unto such as I
Sufficient to own, to redeem, to justify.

Oh it is wonderful, that He should care for me
Enough to die for me.
Oh it is wonderful, wonderful to me.

I love my dog, Nephi, for he is cute and snuggly. With so much fur and personality, how do I not love him? Our favourite activity involves me throwing his toy across the room to watch him scamper after it. He performs tricks and loves to have his little tummy rubbed. When we go exploring the great big world, Nephi insists on sitting in the lap of the driver so he can take charge. Oh yes, he is my little Napoleon and I love him dearly.

I love my husband, Sir Megabyte, for all men are like dogs. With big brown puppy dog eyes and definite tail wagging for good behaviour, it is impossible not to love your man! Sir Megabyte makes me laugh, hides M&Ms in myΒ sock drawer and my Scriptures for special treats, knows just how to make me happy when I am feeling blue. He sings to me, massages my back, and games with me. Best of all, he supports me in all my wacky ideas such as LJ-Idol and NaNoWriMo. He spends hours with me on photo shoots, never complaining, always helping me find something neat to photograph. Well, sometimes he complains but I cannot blame him for not liking the cold! Neither do I!

Schada, my foreign exchange student, brings a light and life to the things about this country I take for granted. She shows a zeal for experiencing things that lifts my spirits. Hosting a foreign exchange student seemed like an interesting idea, but it is so much more. I am not sure what I will do when she returns home to Morocco. I love her dearly, this daughter from another country.

Caramon and Joram are my boys. I suffered through two horrible pregnancies and was blessed with two wonderful sons. I love the adventures they drag me on. I love the travels through history and science. I love how excited they get over reading new books and learning new things. Motherhood changed my life and taught me something about love that I would never have learned elsewhere. I want so much for these two boys and worry for them constantly. I delight in their joy and weep in their sorrows.

My mother, my father, my husband’s family. As a child, you love your parents even though you do not know what love is. As an adult you come to appreciate the many sacrifices they made on your behalf. I love these people for the things they give to me, the ways they influence my life. Many of the things I do today I would not do if not for my parents. I know the same is true of my husband. Who would I be without my love of books, quilting, knitting? My grandfather Griffin taught me about art and my Grandmother Boggs gave me my first camera. Now I have a passion for photography and I have them to thank.

Friends and neighbours have come and gone, but I love each one. I think about and pray daily for my friends here and across the globe. I sometimes wish I could express my love to them more, so they know how appreciated they are.

Love knows no bounds. Love has no limits. How can you choose only one to love?

Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss, and ends with a teardrop.

Unfortunately love is also a doubled edged sword. No one can hurt you like a loved one. Their transgressions seem far worse than that of a stranger. Allowing yourself to love opens you up to a sea of unknown anguish. Knowing that, it can sometimes be the hardest thing to give yourself in love.

Tis better to have love and lost than never to have loved at all.
-Alfred Lord Tennyson

Love has brought me pain, the deepest sorrows I ever knew. There are things I wish I could change, erase, purse from my life. I do not regret loving, however, for in loving I found life. A world devoid of love is a world without sunshine after the rain, a world without flowers in the spring, a world where happiness may never be known.

I wonder about that loving myself. How do I love myself? I do not believe in myself, trust myself, give myself the credit I probably deserve. I look at my works and think I am not good enough. I question every action that I make. I struggle to attmempt to find my place in the world, yet never seem to quite fit in. I feel like the puzzle piece from one puzzle put into the box of another. I look like I might fit in, yet never quite seem to. I look like I might fit in, but none of the pieces match me quite right.

In a world as complex as ours, how do we each fit together in the puzzle of humanity? Love can help soften the curves and edges of the puzzle, allowing us to morph into the proper interlocking pieces. Love allows people to give and take in a way like nothing else on this planet.

Love is patient.
Love is kind.
It does not envy.
It does not boast.
It is not proud.
It is not rude.
It is not self seeking.
It is not easily angered.
It keeps no records of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perserveres.
Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV

There is no ‘one’ that I love, I love many. However, if there is one that I could grow to love, it would be myself. I would see myself through the eyes of others and find the good that is in me. I need to take the advice of 1 Corinthians in not only my love of others but my love of self.Β  I need to remind myself that I am loved by many, and that means I should love myself.

I would become the matching puzzle piece.

–Lady O