The newest season of one of my favorite television series (One Tree Hill) came out earlier this week. One of the things I value so much about OTH is that I feel the it provides an accurate representation of life. Yes, it is FULL of drama. (That's what makes it entertaining.) But it doesn't depict the "happily ever after" that movies and television shows so often do. Instead, it shows that love, relationships, and life aren't easy. You don't fall in love and ride off into the sunset. Relationships require work, and a lot of it. And yet our society convinces individuals that true love is easy. That if you have to work at it, its not true love. It is absolutely infuriating.
In the season six opener of OTH (no spoilers, I promise), Lucas is "choosing" between three women he loves. He is daydreaming imagining life with each. As he considers his life with one of the women, he recognizes that "its easy with us, huh?" and her reply is the "the easiest." But guess what, he DOESN'T "choose" her. I applaud the director and producer for including that. They could have easily left this exchange/scene out but they chose not to. Instead, they choose to reflect a reality not often presented in our society; just because its easy, doesn't make it RIGHT. And just because a relationship is sometimes difficult, doesn't make it WRONG.
A few minutes into the episode, Lucas is at the airport waiting for the girl (who is still unknown) that he called to show up and go to Vegas to marry him. Following is the transcript of what follows:
Old man: I want to tell you something son. It’s the most important thing there is. Love. Finding the right person to spend your life with.
Lucas: I know I made the right choice.
Old man: Yeah…(laughter).
Old man: That’s where it gets you. Thinking you’ve got a choice. Love finds you son, you don’t find love. Its got a little bit to do with destiny, fate, what’s written in the stars. A lot to do with the simple fact most women are smarter than we are. And why, your sorry butt never had a chance. But…if you want to believe you had a choice in the matter, I’d say you made a good one. Because she showed up. And she sure is pretty.
I believe that love manifests as a result of the combination of destiny, fate, and the choices we make. I realize the juxtaposition I am presenting by claiming that love is the result of both destiny/fate and a choice. But here is my view. Destiny and fate place us in a position to meet one another. But what we do with it from there, is our decision. Had I never applied for the Ph.D. program at the U of MN, been accepted, moved to the cities, taken the Ed Psych class fall semester, met Amanda, and gone out with her that night I would have never met Kirk. That I believe was destiny/fate. But it was my decision to say yes to a date. And my decision that "this was something worth holding onto" that lead to love. I believe love is a feeling and an emotion but more often than anything love is an action. A deliberate choice. For example, I love Kirk with all that I am. And that is a feeling/emotion. But there are many times I deliberately chose to act lovingly toward him. Even at times that my stubbornness made it difficult (and I know there were times I was "difficult" and he did the same). I have long believed that "love is not enough," which I find extremely disheartening. But, I also believe, that if you love someone enough, you are willing to put love into action for that person. Even when its hard. Even when you don't want to. Because you love them. And if you can do that, and find someone who will love you on purpose in return, then that kind of love IS enough. And always will be.