I was recently asked to define this word. To my surprise, I didn’t rattle off a list. Because of the context in which I was asked this question, I wanted my answer to be clear, concise and well thought upon.
During my thought process, I went back to the first time I remember uttering the words, “I love you too”. I said these words at age four to my sister as we drove away from the grave site where we laid our mother to rest. LOVE IS holding the hand and heart of a special someone in a time of need.
I thought more about love. This thought took me to the first time I said “I love you” to someone that wasn’t family. I was fifteen years old and my first boyfriend had given me a tshirt and trinkets that he’d picked up on vacation. LOVE IS accepting the little gestures without expectation.
I recall love reaching beyond family and intimate relationships. I met a girl who I thought had nothing in common with me. She was loud, I was reserved. She had three children, I had none. She chain smoked, I thought the habit disgusting. She used extreme bad language, I thought the language unladylike. But what she was, was kind and considerate. She was honest, even though, often times brutal. This woman, my dear friend; I grew to love. LOVE allows you to see past your differences.
What defines who we love?
After many years of being in relationships, I met a person who I determined to possess all the characteristics I wanted in a mate. In the beginning I didn’t know what to do with all of my feelings. How would I tell my family about my new interest….a woman. LOVE IS allowing yourself to take chances and follow your heart.
As my last relationship ended, I made the comment “I will always have love for you.” Sometimes, LOVE IS letting go in order to let the other person grow.