As we celebrated the end of year last night we very quickly stumbled upon the big questions in life. You know the ones where everyone present mutters the word "oooooh good question" once in a while. One in particular really stumped us and had us thinking for a while, debating, agreeing and disagreeing with a wide variety of views. What is love?
We quickly agreed upon what love is in regards to friends and family. For me it is, without doubt, unconditional. It's being there no matter what, being protective, caring and kind. It's being the understanding ears and the soothing words that pass our lips. The empathetic eyes that see into the soul. It's a click, a connection, a familiarity; be it in the way another speaks, acts, their gestures, their looks, their likes and dislikes. It is giving the most precious thing of all, yourself and your time to another person.
But what about romantic love?
This, my dear friends, is where the lines became a little blurred. Unfortunately, sat around the table last night were bruised and battered hearts. Souls who didn't believe in what they once hoped and a part of me wishes I could bestow that innocent, naive faith within myself once again.
Although I'm not a particularly religious person one of my favourite pieces about love has always been Love Is Patient.
Love Is Patient.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
But what when love isn't enough? In that moment surely it fails? Or was it not true love that was entrusted within? Once upon a time, not all too long ago, I loved someone with all my heart but we didn't want the same things in life. We had very different life goals and parted ways. Was it an act of love to part, saying good bye so that we could each continue on our preferred paths? Was love just not enough to hold it all together? Or, was it not love at all?
Not for one second do I regret my decision, If given the opportunity I wouldn't change a thing. I'm a full believer in everything happening for a reason.
One of my favourite Shakespear Sonnets also comes to mind when debating this topic.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments. Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove: O no! it is an ever-fixed mark That looks on tempests and is never shaken; It is the star to every wandering bark, Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks Within his bending sickle's compass come: Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom. If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
What do I think romantic love is?
Love is messy, it is both disorganised and unorganised as well as painfully complicated. It's emotional, frustrating and overwhelming.
It is feeling safe, and content, without pretense. It is laughter and silliness, and a twinkle in the eyes.
Romantic love, for me, is having news and wanting to tell that person as soon as possible. It's chatting for hours about nothing in particular, an excitement in the pit of you tummy when you see them again. At times it is utter disbelief that this person is in your life, or complete disbelief at how stupid they can be yet your heart still swells with love when you look at them.
It is forgiveness beyond imagination, a connection of two souls who may not fully understand the other but try their best.
Love is letting them warm their freezing cold feet on you when they clamber into bed next to you. It is watching them sleep, knowing full well you're being ridiculously stalkerish. It is introducing them to friends and family with pride and going out of your way to make them happy. Love is all of the little things, and all of the big things. It is annoying and crazy, it will make you laugh, cry, scream, giggle, smile quietly and shake with fear.
Love it letting your guard down, granting access to the very deepest, scariest parts of you. It is humbling, vulnerable and intimidating. It is encouraging, electrifying and soothing.
Love makes the world go around. I guess, you could say, love is everything.