Love- we need it, want it, crave it, and chase it. It can take many forms: spiritual, transcendent, platonic, honest, painful, or enduring. It is a small word for such a meaningful experience. Sometimes, we feel our lives are devoid of love. However, I’m here to say that is rarely the case. Often, if love doesn’t show up how we imagine it should, we can’t see it or feel it.
Love can have different meanings for each of us. But I hope most of us experience the overarching feelings of acceptance, freedom from judgment, and contentment. When most people think about love, they immediately think of passionate love and longing, but those are just a few aspects of love. This post isn’t about romantic love or pair bonding, even though they help us learn to trust and experience intimacy. It’s about the love that reaches into and touches our souls.
Expressing love for our fellow humans should extend beyond the holidays. Christmas is a great time to start, but we should work hard to keep it going. We want to enter the new year as a blessing for those around us. Love for your fellow human and having empathy for others’ pain is not seasonal.
Love can be a man caring for his ailing wife and treating her like the woman he fell in love with as a young bride. Or when a mother looks at her baby’s face for the first time. It’s the ultimate act of love, agape when we connect to our preferred spiritual higher power or, through mindfulness practices, appreciating and learning to love ourselves.
Experiencing love can be profound, tying us together when it is present and tearing us apart when we no longer see or feel it from the people we once loved.
For me, family and close friends are everything. I understand that many may have a love for their family, and some may consider themselves friendless. That’s ok. We all interact with the world differently. My parents and my siblings have each contributed to who I am today. I previously wrote posts about my parents, but it extends beyond them to my brother and sisters, my stepsons, my nephew, and my husband. Life will have twists and turns. I’ve had “friends” in the past who I believed cared for me. It turned out that for some friends, it was about what I could do for them, not who I was. I learned from those experiences. Initially, I was so disappointed that I did not trust anyone outside my immediate family. People say time heals all wounds, but I believe it’s love that heals our wounds.
Love and light go hand in hand. When we feel love, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It can spur us on, tether us to what is solid, and comfort us.
We discover ourselves through those we love, the good and the bad. Through love, we see what we may need to work on and what we will tolerate. It helps us connect to others, teaching us to open our hearts.
The loving support of a family related to you by blood or choice is phenomenal. Love helps us ease the pain of a traumatic experience or gives us the courage to build new bridges. It can push us past the superficial discomfort that tugs at our minds and heart. It’s easy for us to get obsessed with the minutia, the trite things that invade our lives.
Whether you feel inspired by the love of a spiritual god or someone that modeled love in your life, reach for it and share it with those around you. Give back. Be there for someone who needs to be heard and to know love. Reach out to someone that needs help. Be the person who adds positivity to the world despite others who choose to add chaos.
As a writer, I write about love and loss often. I value relationships and showing people I care. I celebrate the importance they have in my life. Without love, our existence can be empty and uninspired. It’s not about grand gestures. It’s hugs from loved ones that are life-affirming. Love is holding their hands when they need you or standing by them in their darkest hour, weathering the storm together. The memories I have with the people I love, the good and the bad, are priceless. It binds my heart to them and has taught me forgiveness and how to love and be loved. It fills my soul to withstand the chaos that can be life itself.
I hope you had a Merry Christmas. I wish you a Happy Kwanza and New Year!