Sometimes I think I know what the true definition of love is – what real love truly is – forever and always love. But then sometimes I realize with the truest of clarity, that love can’t really be put into words; but is best described with feelings, emotions and actions.
I think we as people spend a good part of our lives looking for that special “high” that comes with the first days, weeks and months of love and when that high is gone, we’re not quite sure what to do with ourselves and we struggle with what went wrong.
Real love in not found in romance novels, bars, or dating sites. Real love, that rush of gushiness in your stomach and sudden lightheadedness - that love can be found in so many different ways and places, if you just slow down and stop trying to make it magically appear.
That feeling that comes over you when you’re in a crowd, standing on your feet, hand over your heart, and singing the National Anthem. I always cry a little when that happens – even in my own home.
When you’ve been gone for Spring Break all week with your best buddies in the world. You hate to come back to rules and reality, but are so glad to see your own bed as you sink into the clean, cool sheets, thinking about the pantry that was stocked with all your favorites by your mom while you were gone, and you admit to yourself you’re so secretly glad to be home.
When they place your newborn into your arms for the first time, and you smell his head and rub his squishy-soft baby arms, you know that you will never love that much again, as you do in that moment; until you do it all over again, nine years later.
When your father can no longer take care of himself, but he refuses to leave his home. So you travel two hours both ways, several days a week to make sure he has food, he is bathed, and his basic needs are met. To me, that’s another kind of love that is deeper that most any other, and it is one that we will all experience if we’re here on this earth long enough.
As I’ve grown older, my needs are simpler: I feel loved when my husband secretly puts gas in my vehicle or when I walk by his chair and he reaches out for my hand, takes it and squeezes it.
Every love relationship doesn’t always work out. But when you can recognize who you are as a person, and try your best to find the human being that can best support your needs, and you’re also willing to support theirs – when you find that one person who makes you want to be the best person you can be – then you have the greatest chance of experiencing what true love really can be.
Valentine’s Day is over-rated. But love is the real deal, no matter what age you are when you’re trying to find it.