Daily Archives: April 22, 2013



I was at my boyfriend’s house over the weekend and his big, sweet cat came and plopped himself on me.  He was stretched at an obviously awkward angle with his little head burrowed into my chest.  Richard made some comment about how much “Mittens loves me” and I responded with, “No, I think Mittens just likes having a comfortable place to lay.”  Richard’s response: “No way.  Look at him.  That doesn’t look comfortable – that looks like love.”

“That doesn’t look comfortable – that looks like love.”

Such a seemingly innocent, yet ultimately profound statement.  I mean, think about it.  How many times does this end up being the case?   Love just really isn’t always all that comfortable.  Ya know?

Let me give you a few examples to explain where I’m headed with this.

I mentioned in a previous blog that I watched my cousin feeding my grandpa in the nursing home a few weeks ago.  I know she got tired of that.  She stood there for a very long time and I’m sure she got tired of all of that standing.  I’m sure her legs were sore.  I’m sure her arms got sore from the time it took to feed him.  I’m sure it was hard trying to understand what he was telling her and what he was asking for through his incoherent rambling.  I’m sure it was…well…uncomfortable.

That doesn’t look comfortable – that looks like love.

I remember watching my daughter once serve as a capo for my boyfriend’s guitar.  No, really.  He was using a capo-less guitar that didn’t belong to him to play a requested song for my family at a holiday get-together.  My daughter jumped up and offered to hold it for him so it would sound right.  She stood there and pressed down on the strings as he played.  It was just so darn cute.  Here, I’ll show you.


And afterwards?  Bless her heart, she had grooves in her little fingers from where she had to press so hard.  But she was so proud to have helped.

That doesn’t look comfortable – that looks like love.

I watched my sister stand for hours beside the incubators of her newborn premature twin babies.  I know she got tired standing there.  I know it wasn’t the most comfortable thing to stand there and hold a syringe up above the babies so that their milk could flow down through their feeding tube.  I know that as a brand new mom it certainly wasn’t comfortable trying to work around all of the wires and monitors to change a teeny tiny little squirming baby’s diaper.  I know it’s not comfortable giving up hours and hours of her days traveling to and from the hospital that is close to 2 hours away while she continues to take care of them during the many weeks they remain in neonatal intensive care until they’re big enough to go home.  But she does it.


That doesn’t look comfortable – that looks like love.

Another example.  I’m training for a half marathon.  And it is SO hard.  I get frustrated with myself at times.  My legs hurt.  I’m tired.  It’s difficult to squeeze in the time required to devote to the training.  But you know what?  I love running.  Why?  Because it’s making me a better person.  In more ways than I can count.  Running all those miles at one time?  No – definitely not comfortable.  But is it love?  Yes.  Love for the sport and love for the me that I’m becoming as I struggle through the discomfort. It’s not comfortable – it’s love.

These are just a few personal examples, but look around and you’ll see so many more.  Watch the coverage from the Boston marathon a week ago today.  I’m sure you’ve seen the picture of Carlos Arredondo.  He is the man who ran alongside a wheelchair holding an exposed leg artery closed for a complete stranger so that he wouldn’t bleed to death.  Comfortable?  No, of course not.  Love for a complete stranger?  Sure looks like that to me.

There are so many examples that surround us at any given time.  Love wears such a vast array of costumes.  And more often than we may realize – it’s disguised in discomfort.

We live in a society where love is portrayed in romance novels and movies to be all butterflies and rainbows.  The prince ends up with the princess.  They live in their castle and with the birds chirping and the sun shining for the rest of their lives.  Must be nice.  But out here in the real world?  Yeah, love is a different story out here.  Love takes work.  It takes sacrifice.  It takes eyes that see past the flaws and faith that believes beyond the impossible.

My boyfriend and I have been through some tough times.  We both have had issues to rise above and move past.  Sometimes we’ve given up temporarily, but we keep finding our way back.  We sometimes find ourselves surrounded by reminders that take us back to things we’re trying to forget.  We sometimes have outside influences that, knowingly or not, chip away at what we’re trying to build together.  And sometimes our own selfishness and insecurities do the chipping without any help.  No, love is definitely not always butterflies and rainbows.  Sometimes it’s just plain….uncomfortable.  It hurts, it’s hard, it takes work.  But yet, we stay.  Why do we do that?  Why are we still here?

Well.  You know.

That doesn’t look comfortable – that looks like love.


“It ain’t pretty, but it’s beautiful
Our love ain’t perfect, but it’s wonderful
We’re still learning to be loveable
It ain’t pretty, but it’s beautiful.”

– Clay Walker (It Ain’t Pretty lyrics)