Passion dies but love lasts forever

I read an article my sister sent me about how Latinas are brought up unknowingly over sexualizing their bodies. From mastering tacos (slang for high heels) as a middle schooler, wearing makeup & wearing tight clothing to accentuate our early developed bodies, we, as young girls, dressed up and looked like grown women. The article resonated with me because the Latina women on tv that looked & sounded like me all were these over sexualized beings. Their beauty (clad in tight clothes, tons of makeup and big hair) had men admiring & loving them. So, as I hit puberty and began to come into my own, the admiration of men was something I knew would happen. It was normal, something I had to learn to deal with, ignore but secretly enjoy.
Unfortunately, what I didn’t realize was that their admiration’s did not equate to love but only a lust that would never be fulfilled. After watching way too many romance movies (and disregarding the amazing examples of true love marriages of my grandparents, parents & others around me), I fell in love with the idea that love was a sizzling passion that wrapped up its attractive lovers in a cloud of excitement. One moment it was exotic and amazing, the next heated arguments, with broken windows & items being thrown, that always ended in passionately (and over dramatically) making up.
My romantic ideals about marriage were crushed in my early adulthood as I received a lot of unwanted attention from married men. I would firmly turn them down and insist that they needed to not look outside of their marriage but work on it instead. “Marriage isn’t all that great. You’ll find that out after a few years of being married.” Slowly my dreams shattered. I didn’t know if I would ever find that marriage I saw in movies.
I allowed myself to be used. To go from relationship to relationship where I was never valued for who I was, only how my body made them feel. I felt worthless & full of shame. This is all that I’m good for and I’ll never be a relationship where someone valued me for me and not my body. I pulled away from relationships altogether and worked on being a better mom. I didn’t want my daughter to watch me fail at relationships and think that’s what her truth would be. Hers would be different.
I sought God, I went to groups and sought counsel. I prayed and asked for healing. I cried so many times thinking I would be alone forever but slowly I began to heal & see I was valuable. Finally, one day I told God “I’m ok with this. I’m ok with being single forever.” A peace came over me and I felt joy at coming to this resolution.
Funny how when we think we have things figured out, God likes to throw curve balls.
That’s when I reconnected with my now husband. He was funny. He thought I was beautiful, but he also loved me. I kept waiting for him to use me (and I lashed out at him many times thinking that’s all he wanted) but he didn’t believe in superficial relationships. He believed in lasting marriages, ones that you don’t give up on because things don’t go your way. I expected a sizzling passion that would storm in & out day after day, but movies don’t show you the beauty in the mundane things in life. I wouldn’t trade them for all the passion in the world. Don’t get me wrong – there is a lot of passion there – but there is also a lot of talking, laughing and a calm trust that doesn’t go away when the passion leaves because of an argument.
It was amazing that the things I cried over, the things I shared only with God, were the very things that my faith were restored in. So, if you find yourself crying over a love lost, or a bad relationship or the feeling that you’ll always be alone, it’s only temporary.
But most importantly – you are valuable! A relationship does not define you, neither does your body. Passion is temporary but true love lasts and yet true love starts with loving yourself. Loving who you are in your skin. Know who you are & most importantly Whose you are. When you know that & love yourself first that’s when others can know how to properly love you too.

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