The Nature of Love

L-O-V-E a simple four letters that when put together make people do crazy things. As I fly home from dropping my two year old off at my mothers I wonder how such a complex feeling got such a simplified name. Love. Poets write about it, singers sing about it, philosophers debate about it yet who can accurately define love. Who can put into words the depth of love without forgetting the vast ocean of wonder it encompasses? Who can explain the ways in which we sacrifice for love? The love between spouses, the love between parents and children, the love amongst siblings, the love between friends — is it all encompassed by one simple four letter word?

As the clouds surround me I realize I have no idea what any of these answers are. I do know that love is not stagnant, it does not sit in silence unchanging. Love tests the limits of the world around it, it forcibly changes when its environment changes stretching to encompass the changes. The thumping you feel in your chest when you hear your baby’s heartbeat for the first time or feel his little kicks that seem to be designed to remind you that he’s there and needs attention too are not comparable to hearing your baby say mama, they don’t compare to the heartbreak you feel when you see little tears well up in little eyes, yet all of these feelings are different from the love you feel when your spouse smiles that corny smile that melts your heart.

How do all of these emotions fall under the umbrella of love. Is it such a vast umbrella that in today’s society it becomes difficult to not only define but to also understand? Is it a wonder that as the world swipes right, snapping the perfect picture to prove they’re having a good time, and continuously being bombarded by everyone else’s picture perfect moments the concept of love becomes daunting? As we scroll through our feeds we see the perfect valentines post, the perfect family picture, the perfect moments of each day and yet we face the non-perfect life we live on a day to day basis, the constant struggle to find the time, the energy, the will to accomplish the little tasks. As a society it seems we compete with each other to have the most perfect, most brilliant, most breath taking – we show off the wins, the one offs, the unbelievable and sometimes when all those things are thrown in your face you forget the reality.

Love will struggle, it will fight, it will try to survive. Yet like anything else it requires care, compassion, faith. It requires going the extra mile when you can and not forgetting the little things. It needs nourishment – compliments, communication, care. It needs perspective. It needs time. Sometimes it even needs time apart so you can miss each other. Love is missing the feeling of your husband laying against you all night and the feeling of his arms around you on a daily basis. It is what you want it to be, your perfect, not the perfect of the rest of the world.

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