What does love mean to you?
It is such a varied notion that moves through time and space, it has meant many things to me already through my life.
As a human race we have been working to quantify and describe the essence of love with words since the dawn of civilization and we have both succeeded and failed time and again.
There are people, things and experiences I have loved freely and instantly in my life, there have been others I have learned to love. At times I have had true love for another and yet not been “in love”. I have carried deep love for someone while knowing it was best to love them at a distance. I have known love to been electric and magnetic, and have also savoured it’s presence – quiet, persistent and calm. I have felt the pulse of fairy tale love, and sat in the flames with gritty-tough love. In all ways I am grateful to have known so much of it.
This passed year has been a growing year in my life. I have had to trudge through some muck, lose and re-find myself a couple of times. Love has been with me in some of the most profound ways this year, ways I had no idea I would need and value so much. It is so much harder to let yourself be loved when you are no feeling any love for yourself. This is what makes its force so amazing! This year has changed my understanding of what love is and has shown me in astonishingly important ways why it is so important to us as a species to love and be loved. We simply need it!
This year love showed up at my door continuously to dig in the dirt with me, to carry heavy objects and sweat and swear and to paint more than anyone should have to paint.
Love came by on the weekends to make me amazing meals while I worked and once even washed my floors that also needed love so badly!
Love sent simple messages of strength and encouragement, that always came through right when I felt the weight of my load might break me.
Love brought chai and hugs and an open ear on days when I barely had the capacity to feed myself, riddled with stress, love soothed me.
Love shared their inherent skills and talents as we pulled a dream of mine through the stages from concept to beautiful creation, leaving visible and permanent signs of love to linger.
Love lay awake with me through long nights of worry, reinforcing the most important things I needed to know, that love was committed to stand with me through whatever came my way. Love was a solider, a protector and my partner.
This new understanding of love has shown me remarkable things about human spirit this year, about what drives us and helps to keep us elevated. Understanding love in this new way has given me a clearer vision into fear, into vulnerability, anxiety and depression. It is much easier to talk about love when it’s light and fluffy than it is to acknowledge the simple and steadfast ways we need it to move through the shit life throws at us sometimes.
We live in times where we are incredibly connected, and yet more lonely than ever. We mistake “likes” of social media posts for the value of soul connection. I believe wholeheartedly that it is real connection we long for the most. This is the secret ingredient to a life that is healthy, that is happy.
If you have someone in your life that is struggling right now I strongly urge you to take a moment and reach out to them today. Call them! Stop by and say hello. Because I can tell you from a place of gritty truth that the love you share with those who mean the most to you will be their driving force to keep trudging. Nothing has a stronger force than the power of simple love. So get out there and share.. Love and be loved!