Some Thoughts on True Love

It's almost been a year since Aaron and I were married, and I have learned quite a few things since then.

Because I have learned so much, I have also realized that I know close to nothing.

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize the less I know.”
―Michel Lagrand

Since I am a Family Life major I learn a lot about families and marriages and what makes them work. Besides facts and statistics, my classes incorporate our religion's principles, such as eternal families, marriage is the most important human relationship in society, and that parenthood is the most divine role we will ever have. In short, marriage and family are at the center of our beliefs.
Recently, I was writing an assignment for a family/marriage class on my definition of true love, and I had this thought:

True love is sacrifice. 

What is sacrifice, exactly? The surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim. Source

I have learned from experience that marriage takes hard work. You are constantly presented with opportunities for sacrifice, and sacrifice can be pretty hard. This can mean sacrificing your pride to admit your were wrong, it could mean suppressing your desire to eat the last breadstick, and it can also mean sacrificing your desire to watch a chick-flick and instead watching an action movie. Many times your spouse may not even be aware of these little choices/sacrifices you make in your mind, but these seemingly meaningless sacrifices make all the difference to you. 

Remember when you were a teenager/young adult? You made a lot of sacrifices. The only problem is that they were for yourself. You sacrificed helping your mom because you were too busy with your friends. You sacrificed your friend's feelings because you wanted to look 'cool' to the other people watching. You sacrificed many things for the betterment of yourself. Just think about it, you have been given many choices throughout your life, and those choices will either benefit you or another person. Most of the time you choose the option that benefits you.
Whatever (or whomever) you sacrifice for you will eventually love. All of the choices you made that benefited yourself slowly but surely created a deeper love for yourself. When we were married, my budding love for Aaron went head-to-head with the love I had developed for myself over the past twenty-one years.  In order to truly develop love for Aaron I have to make sacrifices, and not just the cliche ones; they have to be deep, meaningful sacrifices. The kind of sacrifices that smother out my selfishness and foster a love for him. These sacrifices are the choices I make everyday, but they make all the difference.

After a year of marriage I have barely begun my journey of erasing the love I have for myself (selfishness) and developing a true love for my husband (selflessness), and sacrifice is an essential tool in this process.

I make mistakes (and so does Aaron), but we know that sometimes we both struggle with the natural urge to love ourselves more than each other. Learning how to sacrifice our personal wants and desires for the betterment of the other person takes a lot of hard work and focus. It is a very difficult and extremely rewarding journey. It will take a long time, but thank goodness we have eternity.

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