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Learning to Love

The word love in our language is an over-used term. We have one word to describe a love for friends, food, pets, parents, our significant others, ourselves and God...

"Sanskrit has 96 words for love; ancient Persian has 80, Greek three, and English only one. This is indicative of the poverty of awareness or emphasis that we give to that tremendously important realm of feeling." Robert Johnson, The Fisher King and the Handless Maiden

I think that this says so much about who we are as a society, we put this emotion and somehow relate the same love for pizza as the love that God has for us... That is so not how I see the world, I wish with all my heart I could create words that would change each saying to make the emotion more true. This topic has been on my mind for awhile now, I think it's because I'm going through a season of love, not as in Valentine's Day or the Hallmark kind of love, but a deeper understanding of myself and my relationships with those around me. I have been blessed by all of these inspiring people in my life, each with their own stories to tell, and in all of it I'm also learning to see myself as one of those people. Over Christmas Break I hit my highest weight that I have ever been in my life, 314 pounds. I was shocked, my body was shocked. I had let myself go further than I ever wanted. This was late December, I could have waited for the New Year to start my lifestyle change, but I didn't want this to just be a resolution, I needed this to be solid, real and true. So, I just started. It's now February 9, I am 290 pounds, I haven't eaten fast food since the first week of January and my body is feeling better. In all of this I never thought my dislike for my body would become so apparent to me. I hadn't realized how much I was hiding behind clothes, hair and my overly outgoing personality. This transformation is slow, I have to face problems every day, face the struggle of bad habits and cravings. But I have been so blessed to be surrounded by people who encourage me to be the best me I can be, even though most of the time, they themselves are fighting similar or just a present battle of their own. Genesis 1:27 states, "God created humankind in his image, in the image of

God he created them, male and female he created them." Over the past month I have become overwhelmed with this idea, that God so loved me, my friends and family, you... that he made us in his own image. Each person on this earth was brought into being by someone of such magnitude we will never truly understand it. That's why I waited to write this blog, I didn't write this on the first day of the process because this isn't about the weight loss or getting fit. It is about love. Every person I encounter now I face differently. I see them as the image of God, and when you do that, the world around you truly changes. I see God smiling at me, God laughing with me, God crying with me, God fighting for them. That, that is worth every moment of this beautiful thing we call life. That love, that huge, empowering love that no human could ever comprehend, that needs a different word and understanding then the word we use for loving food. It deserves to be expressed truly, but for now, I just have to say that I love that love. My life is in a season of love. Loving myself, loving others, loving God. I am so thankful to be able to live a life where I can make choices on what I love and who I love. I know I will probably forget to say it to everyone that deserves to hear it, but if you are involved in my life in anyway, trust me when I tell you this. Thank you. You have all played roles in getting me to this point in my life and now I feel a few steps closer to being the person I most truly want to be. With as much love as I can express, Bina. Special Thanks to: God, My Parents: Suzanne and Robin, My Brother: Eric, Zach, Mataya, My Little: Kenzie, Sarah G., Mataya, Katie Mairet, the Sigma Class of Phi Lamb, all my sisters, my home church family, my youth group, "The Gang", Chelsea, Hannah, Jenna, Ashley, Ashlyn, Rachel J., Kelly Y., Allison M. Stephanie J... For all the talks, the love, picking me up when I needed to be wiped off the floor.

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