Defining love and putting it to action….
Love is in the air. Valentine’s Day is approaching and there are “signs” of love everywhere. Heart shaped boxes of chocolate line store shelves next to mounds of stuffed animals and dozens of roses will cost you a small fortune. Commercials for jewelry stores claim that every kiss begins with them or every love story starts with diamonds, fine gems, fancy food and romantic strolls in the moonlight. Love, according to much of society, is that roller coaster butterfly in the belly whirlwind breathless fireworks feeling that you get when the one of your dreams walks through the door carrying flowers, candy or some other material gift that makes your knees weak and sweeps you off of your feet carrying you off into the sunset. And while, I have had a moment or two like that in my life, I believe that love is a much deeper more meaningful less tangible element of life.
According to the dictionary love is “to feel tender affection for somebody or for something such as a place, an ideal, or an animal. To feel desire, to feel romantic and longing for somebody.” Love, in my opinion, can be defined in many different ways. I decided to search for love quotes from various sources. According to a few cute three year olds I know, love is pretty special. Having parents to take care of them, make them food, play with them and ride bikes with them is love. For a three year old love is quite simple. It’s only when we get older love becomes a complicated affair that at times can bring us to our knees and make our hearts feel as if it’s broken into pieces. Wanting to explore what older, more seasoned folks had to say about love I posed the question to my social media friends and family; “what is love?” Surprisingly (or not) no one said anything close to the dictionary definition. What I found interesting in the many responses I received was that depending on the age or stage of life a particular individual is in their answer reflected as much. For example, someone going through difficulties in their marriage expressed frustration toward love. For him, love has been a difficult challenge; love is hard. For a few newly engaged twenty-somethings love is magical, powerful and wonderful, while words like unscripted, challenging, tough and time consuming came from a handful of thirty-somethings who along with a bit more experience and a handful of kids running amuck see love differently. Skip ahead a generation or two and the more mature, married most of their lives older folks shared that love is a gift, a blessing worth the work. My husband, David, the love of my life says “love cannot be measured or compared; it’s unique.” “Imagine”, he says “what our world would look like if we all loved the same”. For David, love is a unique, individual experience that cannot be defined by anyone other than himself; it may be nothing out of the ordinary one day and something extraordinary the next.
I believe that it is the simple things in life that produce the deepest and purest form of love that anyone can experience. It is when we allow ourselves to be loved in this way that we find our greatest comfort and joy. Love does not have to be complicated, sophisticated or exaggerated. Love comes from a place deep within our soul that when shared with others gives us a sense of safety, security and belonging. Love does not cost anything but is worth more than anything money could buy. Love is that sense of being connected to someone completely allowing ourselves to be intimate, real and open without hesitation or reservation.
But what about love that is not romantic in nature? How do we define love for our friends, family, neighbors, strangers even? This love, I believe is a necessary element of life that when lived to its fullest enhances our life experience. Being blessed with a great inner circle of family and friends who share a deep love for one another I find that life is sweeter because of that love experience. With great distance between some of us the love we have for one another keeps us connected. Being separated for extended periods of time is difficult, however, taking time to send messages, make phone calls and send cards in the mail keeps us connected until we are able to see one another. Living a life of love I believe is different than being “in love” with someone. Taking time to love, making an effort to love and extending love to the world around us requires action; not just emotion.
Knowing that living a life of love requires work I was grateful for a love quote by a close friend who summed it up beautifully stating that “Love is a verb, an action word. It’s the very fuel that makes life so special. It’s that special ingredient that makes anything better. They always tell you that grandma’s recipe for anything always included love, which makes it taste even better.” Surrounding ourselves with those who want to and are willing to share our life journey I believe is a key ingredient in living a life filled with love. My faith tells me that we are created to live in community loving one another as we love ourselves and by living accordingly love becomes the verb, the action word that will make life better. It’s kind of like the icing on a cake; Love makes life sweeter.
I encourage you to live a life of love; put your love into action. Love is more than a feeling. Love is life; life is love.
I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
Check out Karla’s 24 Day Advocare Challenge updates!
Share with us your favorite Love Quotes! Leave it below.