To me, love is the gift of seeing (or the ability to see) the true nature of a person, followed by the wish to help them fulfill their greatest desires and whatever else will allow them to have the best life possible.
I often think about the nature of love and it's effects on the people in my life. I was talking with a good friend about the state of our primary relationships. We were specifically discussing how our lives have changed since the relationships began and in certain ways, we have grown away from our partners. This happens in all relationships and some people manage the changes better than others. I was describing the comfort I have in this regard in my life. In my case, we have an understanding that 'no matter what', we will always remain together. It's our commitment to 'us'. When I mentioned this to my friend, she looked at me and said, "I just don't feel that way." My response? It's not a feeling, it's a choice.
I've thought about that conversation quite a bit since then - about the different types of love and what they mean; how they influence the relationships we have and how they change us by experiencing them.
I was also recently reminded of a marvelous gift I was given many years ago. Someone I met was a catalyst in drawing forth an understanding of how I love the people in my life. It gave me the opportunity to define the style of love I want to practice. I was amazed to see that by honoring and practicing love in this way, by it's nature, it grows larger and encompasses more people as they come into my life.
I think that common ideas of love between two people are somewhat narrow relative to the true nature of humanity. Love is uniquely personal and doesn't need to conform to anyone elses ideas. Being genuine is key. We're all blends of different styles of loving. Learning to appreciate how others love and being respectful of our differences makes all the difference. Sometimes embracing our differences is the absolute best loving we can achieve. My basic conclusion is that there are as many different styles and emotions engaged in loving someone as there are people doing the loving.
Now you know who I am...tell me, who are you?
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