When I was a teenager, a nun at my Catholic school called me into her office.
Shaking, I sat down across from her, thinking I was in trouble. But she cleared her throat and said, “Janel—have you ever thought about becoming a nun?” I blinked.
This was not what I was expecting.
I asked her what she meant and she replied, “I see the way you interact with others and I can tell you love people. That’s one of the most important qualities for a nun. I think you should consider becoming a Sister.”
I kindly turned her down. But I was also kinda honored.
She was right...in a way. I am in love with people.
But I never felt that my version of love aligned with Christianity's version of God. I’ve always believed in allowing my connections to evolve in whatever way felt natural and right with each unique person in my life.
But Catholic school, pop culture and my peers reinforced that relationships—especially romantic ones—had to look a certain way, and that having an intimate connection automatically meant that you weren’t allowed to have one with anyone else. I didn’t get it.
How was I supposed to “turn off” my connection with a person just because I already had a strong connection with someone else?
Why was creating more love a bad thing?
With seemingly no role models who were like me, I had to make up my own way of being myself in the world.
And being myself in the world means manifesting MORE love, not restricting it to fit into a mold of what relationships should look like. I still don’t resonate with the Christian version of God. But I am a disciple of Love—
Love that is abundant, unlimited and unconditional.
Love that empowers us to evolve into the best version of ourselves we can be.
Love that inspires us to support our beloveds to do the same, even if it isn’t easy. I’d like to think that if there is a God, she would approve.