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Love In Any Language Is Still Love

Updated on January 8, 2015
Today I can love myself
Today I can love myself
Today I can love another.
Today I can love another.
Today I can love nature.
Today I can love nature.

How important is love to you?

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To those of us in the English-speaking world the word is love. In other languages it goes something like this:

· Czech: laska

· Danish: kaerlighed

· Dutch: liefde

· Estonian: armastus

· Finnish: rakkaus

· French: amour

· German: die Liebe

· Hungarian: szeretet

· Icelandic: ast

· Indonesian: saying

· Italian: amore

· Latvian: milestiba

· Lithuanian: meile

· Norwegian: kjaerlighet

· Polish: zamilowanie

· Portuguese: amor

· Romanian: dragoste

· Slovak: laska

· Slovenian: ljubezen

· Spanish: amor

· Swedish: karlek

· Turkish: ask

Look it up in your Webster’s Dictionary and you will find that love means: a strong affection for another rising out of kinship or personal ties; an attraction based on sexual desire; affection and tenderness felt by lovers; affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests.

However, those are just words. The word ‘love’ and the meaning of love are as different as night and day to this author, and it is that difference that will be the subject of this article.

Not many things bug me but there is a term that can be seen at the end of many emails and text messages and it also quite popular on Facebook and that term is ‘love ya.’ Let me explain why those two words stick in my craw. In my humble opinion saying ‘love ya’ devalues love somewhat. You either love someone with all of the emotion and attachment that word carries with it or you don’t. Either say I love you or don’t! I know, some of you right now are rolling your eyes and thinking I’m completely off of my rocker, and I can live with that; Lord knows I’ve been called worse during my lifetime. I just don’t like seeing the word love lessened by some modern slang; the emotion of love carries way too much meaning for me.

WHAT LOVE MEANS TO ME

For me, love is the opposite of death. My life really began when love became a possibility. When I became capable of loving myself and loving others then a new life began for this wanderer; until that moment I was a walking dead man, a mere shadow of what I once was.

But how can that be you ask? How can the experience of love mean re-birth? Examples might aid in my explaining this rather bizarre claim that I have set forth. Imagine seeing the world in blacks and whites and shades of gray. Then imagine the filter being removed and suddenly everything is in vivid colors. Imagine walking through life with tunnel vision: all you see is what is in front of you, those things necessary to make it the next step, then the next, walking through life seeing the job, the car, the meal in front of you, only those things associated with daily existence. Then imagine an explosion of senses as the blinders are taken off: the slightest hint of jasmine in the air; the intricate nature of a spider web or dew drops on a blade of grass; noticing that all of life is interconnected and marveling at the smile of a small child, the warmth of a summer breeze, the joy of splashing in a mud puddle.

That is what the discovery of love meant to me and yet so much more. Knowing that I never had to be alone again….knowing that the world is so much more enjoyable when with a loved one….caring more for another person than for yourself, and yet taking care of yourself for that other person….they are all aspects of true love. Becoming one with another person and yet maintaining your individualism, that is love. Sensing that as one grows in a relationship so too does your partner, that is love. Feeling as though a part of you is missing when your love partner is gone, that too is love.

So you see, saying ‘love ya’ doesn’t hold a candle to the words ‘I love you.’

HOW IT ALL CHANGED FOR ME

First I had to put the plug in the jug. If you have read any of my previous articles you know that I am an alcoholic and as long as I was drinking I was incapable of loving anyone including myself. Love takes time and effort and commitment and when your only love is booze then there is nothing left to give anyone else.

Second I had to change myself. Merely stopping the drinking was not enough to change the person I had become; what was needed was a complete overhaul, a new foundation from which a new person could emerge.

Third I returned to teaching. I became a teacher because I have always had a special bond with students, a comradeship and a feeling of acceptance and closeness that has always been missing in other areas of my life. It was only natural that once I sobered up that I return to that which has given me so much joy in the past. Two years teaching in Oregon made me realize that I was lovable, that I did have worth, that I could find happiness without alcohol.

Fourth I turned once again to the outdoors that I have always felt a special kinship with; hiking, walking, taking photos, getting back in touch with nature and re-discovering all of the gifts I had received in the past from nature.

Fifth, I allowed the love of another person to fill me once again with that magical feeling so long missing from my life. She has filled me with an infectious fascination with life, the wonder associated with the remarkable AND the mundane. She has allowed me to be myself and shown remarkable patience as I shed my old protective armor and emerged buck-ass naked to the world. She sees the things in life I had become incapable of seeing and she teaches me daily how to see them again. She saw, and continues to see, something in me I once thought had died and would remain gone forever, a little kid wanting so badly to be part of life and yet not knowing how. She became the teacher and I the student and although I’m not ready to ace the course I am at least no longer flunking and that is serious progress.

THE IMPORTANCE OF LOVE

Towards the end of his masterpiece “Siddhartha,” author Hermann Hesse explains through his main character the importance of love. “And this is now a teaching you will laugh about: love, oh Govinda, seems to me to be the most important thing of all. To thoroughly understand the world, to explain it, to despise it, may be the thing great thinkers do. But I’m only interested in being able to love the world, not to despise it, not to hate it and me, to be able to look upon it and me and all beings with love and admiration and great respect.”

It is funny in a sad way that I read that book decades ago and it held a special meaning to me and yet I didn’t know what that special meaning was; today I do. Today I understand that in my former life I was incapable of loving; the book passage resonated with me but I didn’t know why at the time. I realize now, of course, it was because I felt unloving and unlovable and yet wanted both so much.

TODAY I LOVE

There is no doubt in the minds and hearts of my loved ones about whether or not I love them. I look them in the eyes daily and tell them, not in some slang fashion, but using the three words that mean so much: I love you! Today they see those words have meaning because I show them through my actions. Love, for me, truly is the most important thing of all. I have had fame, fortune and possessions and they did not bring me happiness. I have had surface relationships and affairs and they did not bring me happiness. All of the trappings of life that I thought were so important only brought me hollowness inside and left me always seeking new solutions to the emptiness.

Today I love! Today I see the wonder in life and understand my role in it all. Today I rejoice in the simple things, laugh at what I once thought were problems and embrace completely this gift I have been given. From near-death I have arisen and I greedily drink the elixir that saved my life.

Love really is the most important thing of all. May you all find love and in so doing find happiness for they are one and the same.

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    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for sharing that, Annika. A lovely message for sure.

    • profile image

      Annika 2 years ago

      Love is for sure a very strong word, but it can still be misunderstood.

      Sometimes a video or music can overcome those borders.

      My boyfriend didn't speak a single word in my language when I first met him. After we dated a few times he showed me this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbRsHPYrZOg

      I knew that he would be the one.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cassy, you are a woman who speaks my language. There is so much love to be had, all around us; all we have to do is reach out and take it....and then give it back. Thank you my dear! I would love to see your pictures.

    • CassyLu1981 profile image

      CassyLu1981 5 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      Incredible hub :) I'm a lover too, not a fighter. If you look hard enough you can find the love in everyone and everything. That is the main reason I do photography, everything looks incredible through the lens on my camera! Voted up and shared :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, you are the epitome of hublove! Thank you for the visit; much appreciated.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Awesome article Bill. How about HubLove?

      Hubbers could all relate to some hublove!:))

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wo Ai Ni Midget, and thank you so much!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      Love...something that we should all embrace, and the beauty of it is that it comes in all forms. Add to add to your lovely list at the beginning of this article - Wo Ai Ni (Love) in Mandarin!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, thank you and I believe with my whole being that love is the most important thing in life.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Love is everything. It is surely very important to tell people we love that we love them in plain simple words. Using slang to express love is, I feel, expressing love without emotion and feeling.

      Recounting your personal experience with love has added to the beauty of the write up Bill.

      Up and awesome.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ashley, if you believe that love is the greatest gift, then you have a faithful follower for as long as you are on HubPages. Thank you young lady.

    • ashleybunn profile image

      ashleybunn 5 years ago from South Carolina

      Fantastic hub, poignant words. I believe that love is the greatest gift that we can give each other, and most certainly the greatest gift we can give to ourselves - it is truly a blessing to have it in our lives for even a moment.

    • ashish04joshi profile image

      Ashish Joshi 5 years ago from India

      True...our stature might get shot down, our ego doesn't. And that's where the trouble begins.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ah, yes, the ego! Ashish, you are a man who speaks my language! Nothing is more damaging to the human spirit than the ego. It is only through humility that we can find happiness...and love.

    • ashish04joshi profile image

      Ashish Joshi 5 years ago from India

      Nice to know you've read 'Siddhartha'...it's truly a masterpiece.

      Love for me is letting go of our ego. Only then one can truly love.

      A lovely hub about love, and what it means!

      'up' , 'beautiful', and sharing as well.

      And Plato once said, "At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet".

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tillsontitan, I am a very lucky man to have found Bev. Thank you so much.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      This is not only beautiful but inspiring as well. How wonderful for you and your "lover". It is not always easy to find real love but when we do it is a true blessing. Voted up, awesome and beautiful.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nell, you found one of the Golden Oldies. :) Thank you dear lady and you are oh so right, you can feel love from your head to your toes. :)

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Just by reading your words I can see how much you understand and feel love. It is a wonderful feeling, like your whole body comes alive, magical hub billy and I am so happy for you, nell

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vinaya, that is a fascinating observation. Thank you for sharing that and for reading my hub.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      Maya is the word for love in Nepali language. Interestingly, maya also means illusion. This connection of love and illusion in my language I find so wonderful.

      Billy, I agree with your point of view regarding love.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Audra! Love is and always will be; it is up to us to embrace it as the most important thing in life.

    • profile image

      iamaudraleigh 5 years ago

      I too love the simple things! I loved this hub and how you put it together! Great idea! I have to vote it up and share it!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, as you know, love is a pretty important concept to me as it is to you. May we both have many more love-filled days for my friend, we deserve them!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      A wonderful hub Bill;so full beauty and here's to so many more hubs for us both to share on here.

      Take care and enjoy your day.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Demola, nicely stated and I agree completely. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • profile image

      Demola Adeshina 5 years ago

      All l see in d wonders of life made me undestood d role of LUV. The search of luv is universal & a lasting luv is d goal 2 embrace.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you homestead, I appreciate you taking the time to visit and comment. Love really is the only way to go! Your support means a great deal to me!

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      This was beautiful. I am glad that you have found the ability to love yourself. Voted up!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      ImKarn, I appreciate your kindness; thank you! It took me a long time to realize what was truly important in life. Thankfully I finally figured it out.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phyllis, yes indeed...without love I am nothing...period. Thank you for reading and following my journey.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sooner, in truth I was guilty of it until about a year ago when someone I truly cared about was always in too big a hurry to say "I love you." Made me stop and think about it...anyway, thank you for the compliments. Pain is the greatest motivator in my life; once I have hurt enough I do seek out change, and thankfully I haven't had to die before I could change. I appreciate your commeents.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you sir! Now that the 30/30 challenge is over I'll be visiting your site more often to catch up. Thanks for following along and the comment.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 5 years ago

      I really 'laskaed' this hub! Love in any language is both beautiful and necessary to maintain ones health and positive attitude. Loving oneself comes first, of course! Your loved ones are lucky to have someone who not only understands the import - but has no problem communicating it! (this hub proves that) votingup...

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 5 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Three words He gave us to abide by: Faith, Hope, and Love -- and the greatest of these is Love.

      Beautiful hub!

    • profile image

      Sooner28 5 years ago

      I want to make three comments.

      First of all, having a close relative who is an alcoholic, I can find hope in your story and the fact you were able to overcome.

      Secondly, I want to thank you for being a teacher. With many politicians demonizing education today, looking at it as some kind of "service," like going to McDonalds; and also the low level of pay among many educators, I am glad that neither of those factors deterred you.

      Thirdly, I am guilty of the quick I love yous, without putting much thought into what I am saying. This article made me think about the fact that I should break that habit.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      "love is the opposite of death." That's great. Sharing this...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dawn, you are so right. Love is not something you leave to assumption; love must be shouted from the rooftops and reinforced over and over again. Thank you for your following and may you find peace in your day!

    • shimmering Dawn profile image

      shimmering Dawn 5 years ago

      A wonderful hub! I always say - I love you, always! to those I truly love... and I mean it.. many times years after they have moved away from my life I keep praying for them and remembering them fondly. Just the thought of such people is enough to brighten my day! There is magic in true love! Have a blessed day! Peace!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      cls67...write me an email at holland1145@yahoo.com and we'll go from there. Would love to hear from you and we can pick each others' brains. Thank you for stopping by and I'm glad my ramblings help in some way.

    • cls67 profile image

      cls67 5 years ago

      I absolutely love it!!! I learn a lot from you, you are amazing. Thank you, if you do not mind I would like to chat because I do have some questions. Your Hubs are always so interesting.

    • profile image

      iamaudraleigh 5 years ago

      Sounds good Bill :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      From now on let's go with Bill, okay? billybuc is just a silly neckname I got saddled with in high school and it stuck.

    • profile image

      iamaudraleigh 5 years ago

      Your welcome "Billy" :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audi, you are very welcome, and thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings.

    • profile image

      iamaudraleigh 5 years ago

      Billy...just call me Audi or Audra :) Thank you for teaching me things...much appreciated!!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martins, that is much more eloquent than what I wrote. You are so right! Thank you for sharing that and for visiting my hub!

    • Martins Fraulein profile image

      Martins Fraulein 5 years ago

      Passion is from the soul, that's why love cannot be written , love has to be shown through the path you decide to take when you find the one to love forever!:)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      iamaudraleigh..it's hard to type your screen name. Made several mistakes along the way. :) Thank you for reading and commenting and I'm very happy that you liked my hub. I love writing when it brings out emotions and reactions such as yours; that's why I write, to touch people.

    • profile image

      iamaudraleigh 5 years ago

      Hi Bill! Your hub on love is extremely beautiful! I found the part you wrote:

      "When I became capable of loving myself and loving others then a new life began for this wanderer"

      to be insightful and moving. Finding that in your self took a lot of courage!

      Thank you for writing this...voted up!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      tammy, I see your picture and I smile...that, my friend, is a gift. Thank you so much for dropping by!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jacy, some hubs come from the heart and some come from...somewhere else. I'm not sure I knew I was without love until I found it and then...WOW! Thank you as always for commenting; I greatly respect you!

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      So beautiful!

    • albertsj profile image

      jacy albertson 5 years ago from Lake Mary, Fl

      How did I miss this one?? I couldn't agree with you more on everything you say. Who can live with out love, but also, the word "love" is grossly overused. Something I have thought for a while now. And like you, it's all new to me. It's only in the past few years that I've finally allowed myself to feel. And, sure I've felt bad, but also for the first time, I felt true love. How coud I have gone for so long with out it? And yes, it's a wonderful sometimes blissful feeling. Well, you've done it again. Voted up, Beautiful I interesting. Very thought provoking hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Belen, I would have a very hard time arguing with that statement of yours. Thank you again for following along and being so gracious.

    • Martins Fraulein profile image

      Martins Fraulein 5 years ago

      A life without love, is no life at all.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liefling...I like the sound of that. Thank you for sharing and reading my hub. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      Love is indeed the most important thing of all.

      I am Afrikaans - Afrikaans is a daughter of Dutch. Liefde is also our word for love. One of the names we call our lover is 'liefling', which means 'beloved'

      Voted up, interesting and inspiring.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Katrine, we are in complete agreement on that point. It had to be so for me in order to find true happiness. Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

    • profile image

      KatrineDalMonte 5 years ago

      Billy,

      I strongly believe that there cannot be true happiness in this world without loving someone deeply and unconditionally.

      Love is a miracle, a gift that comes from a higher spirit.

      It needs to be taken care of and treasured.

      Great hub!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      A beautiful poem and I thank you for sharing it; thanks also for taking the time to read my hub and for such a lovely comment.

    • Author Cheryl profile image

      Cheryl A Whitsett 5 years ago from Jacksonville, Fl

      A wonderful hub: I found this years ago and have strived to live it daily in my married life.

      Love… a small word for such a complex emotion.

      There is no simple explanation for it,

      because love is made up of many things.

      It cannot be measured, because it is a feeling.

      All of the money in the world cannot buy love;

      it has to be earned.

      It does not happen by wishing;

      it must come about naturally.

      Love is not an instantaneous emotion,

      but something that grows slowly between

      two people, maturing with time.

      Once love has reached maturity,

      there is no stronger bond between two people.

      Love is sharing the good and the bad,

      the hopes and the dreams,

      the amusing times and the serious times.

      It is doing things together, yet leaving room

      for each to grow as an individual.

      How do I know these things about Love?

      Because this is the kind of Love

      you have given to me and the kind of Love

      I feel for you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It literally saved my life, hazelwood4 (well, that and giving up alcohol). Thank you for visiting once again; your comments are important to me.

    • hazelwood4 profile image

      hazelwood4 5 years ago from Owensboro, Kentucky

      Love is a powerful thing. Thank you sharing Billy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      chanroth, I thank you! The comments from fellow writers such as yourself mean the world to me.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      tammy,a smile comes over my face every time I see a comment from you. Thank you very much; I am a great admirer of your work as well.

    • chanroth profile image

      chanroth 5 years ago from California, USA

      I love reading your work and finally decided to sneak a comment! Love is amazing, full of passion...I vote you up, beautiful and interesting! Thank you for sharing!

      Chanroth

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Another masterpiece billybuc. I live for love. This is really a beautiful message and I LOVE your writing abilities! Well done!