Valentine's Day: Misconceptions About Love
Valentine's Day is a good time to think about love. Songs about "love" fill the airwaves, the tabloids announce the latest hot couple in Hollywood madly in love (just wait a few months), local florists are frantically filling orders for roses and the shelves at local stores are browsed for just the right card. All of this because of love.
What Love is Not!
Love is probably the most misunderstood and misrepresented subject in the world. In other words, a lot of things are called "love" that aren't love at all. Let's look at a few:
-You're "mine" (Possession and jealousy are definitely not love).
-I love you therefore you have to love me back (love is a choice).
-I have a warm fuzzy feeling when I'm with you (maybe you need an antacid and he needs a good shave).
-I'm so happy when I'm with you (it won't be that way all the time).
-I can't live without you (your heart really will continue beating without this person).
-You're my whole world (maybe you need to find joy in other things).
-I need you to feel safe (what happens when you're alone someday?).
What is Love?
There are many definitions of love, and mine looks like this: Love is caring for another person, wanting their happiness, safety and well being.
Based on this definition, it's not about me, it's about the other person. This definition of love also implies that because I love you, I'm not always going to feel good. I will worry when you're sick, I'll lose my appetite when you're distraught. I will cry tears of joy when you succeed and but I'll also cry tears of sadness when you're far away, because I won't be near you to contribute to your happiness.
I have said goodbye many times in my life and I know well the knot in my throat, the tears and the feelings of emptiness...I have said goodbye to friends when moving away, not knowing if and when I would see them again. I have said "see you in heaven" to good friends upon their passing and felt the tremendous pain of losing them. I have worried through sleepless nights when one of my kids was in trouble, and know what panic feels like when someone I love is in danger.
Someone once said to me that loving someone can be the most painful experience in the world, and he was right. Love doesn't imply a warm fuzzy feeling but instead can be the cause of our heartache. That shouldn't discourage us from loving, because the pain reminds us that we have experienced love, that we're alive, and that we have been blessed with a few special people during our time on earth.
Que Viva el Amor!