This is my 9th entry in my This I Believe series.
In keeping with the major holiday of this month, I decided to write and think about love tonight. I have a lot of jumbled thoughts in my head about this topic, so I hope that it comes out more clearly.
LOVE is so cliché and original; it’s such a paradox. It has to be cliché because it’s such a driving force behind so much of our daily lives. And when it’s so important, people notice it, and then they write/sing/joke/obsess about it. I believe that love is the impetus in some capacity behind our other most intense emotions. Think about hate, even in its gentler form—anger. We hate ourselves/others/things because they are the antithesis of what we love. Or we get angry when something is wrong with what we love.
Right before I started typing this, I happened to notice the scrolling pictures that I have on my desktop of all of the pictures that are saved on my computer, which is not an insubstantial amount now. Just the briefest of glimpses of Abby, and I felt all warm and melty inside. What an intense emotion LOVE must be if even the slightest image illicit such a heady response so quickly. I choose to believe in the power of LOVE as transformative and more inspiring than the LOVE as evoking hatred/anger/negativity in my earlier example. I also feel quite strongly that if we always know how to love, then we’ll ultimately be okay as a whole. I believe in peoples’ desire to want to LOVE.
I read in some shmarmy novel once well before I had entered into anything resembling a serious relationship that you have to accept being loved, and that idea always has stuck with me. I also like it because it implies, again, that people ultimately desire LOVE. And, if we want to be loved, then I believe its inevitable that people will want to reciprocate love as well.
But my favorite LOVE is what I see and experience in subtle ways every day. It’s the really awkward teenage couple at school who want to be affectionate with each other but even more strongly want to abide by school rules and so air kiss and then hurry apart. It’s my Valentine’s Day “present” this year—Ben took care of recycling the recyclables because it was something to make my day better. It’s my dad, who made sure to visit or at least call my grandma every day when her health really began to fade. It’s my little girl who knocks us over with her exuberant hugs and sometimes remembers to say “uv ew” when we leave her in her crib at night. It’s my friend who babysits Abby for us and treats her like her own child though it’s not always convenient.
LOVE is phenomenal and hopeful. It’s such a dynamic force that influences so many mistakes and problems. But it’s just so absolutely worthwhile.