We all know what love is and above are some of the different ways we think about love. As a matter of fact, we might think of love like all of these and more in the course of the day, hour or even an instant. Love is so very personal. Love is a responsibility no matter if you’re giving or receiving it.
But the fact remains that we all know what love is, right?
Well, maybe not. There are many people in the world (more than you’d realize) that really have trouble understanding love.
This is just as hard a concept for those of us who feel love, as understanding what love is for those who don’t understand it.
It’s confusing and hard to “wrap our head around.”
Think of it like this…
Maybe you grew up in a home where your parent(s) or caregivers told you what a good job you did, helped you to succeed, learn and grow, hugged you and gave you kisses. In other words, showed you love. You surround yourself with people who love and protect you in your life now and you feel safe.
This person, more than likely understands love, shows it, feels it and returns it.
Now, imagine a different scenario…
Maybe you were born into a home where your parent(s) or caregivers never told you that you did a good thing. They never told you what a good job you’ve done and as a matter of fact, constantly found fault with everything. They only pointed out the road to failure instead of helping you to succeed. Instead of hugging you, you were beaten, starved, ignored and chastised. They never kissed you, instead, they gave you bruises and scars. In your life today, you are surrounded by others that don’t understand or care about love, they don’t show it, feel it or return it. You rarely if ever feel safe.
This second example is a very uncomfortable thing to read, let alone force yourself to consider. My point here isn’t to make you feel uncomfortable, but to realize as we walk through our lives, there are those we meet that don’t/can’t understand what love is. Oh, they understand the definition but that’s about all.
Think about it this way, which do you prefer, reading a story about love and good deeds or actually feeling the warmth, tenderness and being enveloped by love? Of course, the answer is the second.
So, what can we do?
First, recognize love as best you can. I mean find it in the large, medium and small things in life. Ask yourself if you’re recognizing love in your life. Remind yourself to feel love when you see others feeling their love and success.
Now, listen to that feeling and move in the direction that it’s telling you to move in. Don’t ignore that feeling or “sluff” it off! Listen to it!
Understand that we teach love to others with everything we do. So, even for those who don’t understand it the way we do, if they see how we act and live, how we talk to and treat others, this presents an opportunity for them to learn. We don’t have to consciously teach, we do it with every breath we take.
After all, there is no greater example of love than being willing to share it with others, being willing to appreciate it when others don’t even notice it, being willing to notice that love is a part of your life, even and especially when it doesn’t seem so.
Finally, reach out! Reach out to those that understand love. Reach out to those who don’t understand love. Challenge yourself to always grow your definition of what love is and means to you! REMEMBER THAT LOVE IS PERSONAL BUT NOT EXCLUSIVE! Love is not just a word to plug into a sentence. Love is the difference between breathing dirty polluted air and taking a breath of clean fresh mountain air in the morning. Love is only what we have named it, which doesn’t even come close to how it is defined.
We all know what love is, it is an ever changing, expanding and mind altering experience that every person on the planet would be better for if they had it in their lives. Love is deeply personal and is indeed a responsibility to both give and receive.
No matter which of the above you’d choose to describe love in this instant, I’d love nothing more if your experience with love grows and expands way past this instant, past yourself and your expectations and yes, past the simple definition of love we first think of.