What is love?…
Is love the absence of fear? Is love the presence of understanding and compassion? Is love quantifiable? Is love the smallest flower petal in the universe, or is it possibly the universe itself?
I venture to say that love is everything – anything. This past weekend, I witnessed love, at my best friend’s wedding. It was right in front of me, staring me in the face – like a space of sunshine on a cloudy day. Love was in the eyes of the groom as he looked, miraculously, at his bride. Love was in the faces of the friends and family in attendance, as they witnessed the blessings and celebration of marriage. Love was in the poems, readings and music that was shared throughout the ceremony. And love most definitely was on the dance floor, surrounded by laughter, smiles and hugs…not to mention some really great dance moves!
But love was also evident in the flowers and bouquets – both in the care and time it took to create them, by the florist – but also in the time and care it took to create them by the universe. Love was flowing in the water we drank, and the wine we shared. Love was in the grass as we took pictures, and in the cool misty breeze of the afternoon. There was even love in the nourishing food we ate and enjoyed throughout the weekend’s festivities. It was, without doubt, a weekend full of love.
But that was to be expected. Wasn’t it? Have you ever been to a wedding where love wasn’t flowing, full force? I have. It’s a different feeling. There’s still love, but it’s missing something. So….I venture out on a limb and now say this weekend’s experience was love – in its purest form. Untainted by anything false or constructed..unfettered by ego. It was love,but it was combined with gratitude and blessings. This is the greatest love there is. Love, without conditions, without qualifiers, without concerns. But love filled with gratitude for everyone and everything around you. It’s palpable. When set in an environment of blessings, it can’t help but touch everyone present.
So, what is love? Is it the absence of these concerns or conditions? These difficult emotions, such as fear or wanting? Or is it possible that love is defined not by the absence of something, but rather by the inclusion of gratitude and the blessings that creates? Think about it. When you say “I love you,” what are you really saying? For years, I hesitated when my family said “I love you,” to me – I wasn’t sure why, I just did. I’ve come to realize that, for me, it’s a phrase that means so much more than the three words imply. When I say, “I love you,” I am saying that I am grateful for you, and that I am blessed by you. This is a much deeper feeling than the word “love” can describe, and yet we don’t have another word for it. So, what do I say? I say nothing, or I say, “I love you, too.”
For me, it’s one of the most complicated emotions, and yet also the simplest. Love is everywhere, in everything, accessible to anyone. And yet, it is impossible to measure, define or quantify – because everybody experiences it differently. We all know when we are in the presence of love, but we would probably all relate a different account of that experience. Love, is therefore, subjective, malleable, and ever-changing. So…what is love? What is it for you? Aren’t we all just looking for love? Whether it’s love of ourselves or love from others? So, how can we define it? Should we even try?
I think love is the most precious gift one person can receive or experience, and I also think that love can never be contained, packaged or prescribed, because it is the most personal of emotions – and the most universal, all at once. Sometimes, it’s just enough to know it exists, and when we witness it, to revel in it, accepting the many gifts it has to offer. It may not be “all we need” – but without it, life wouldn’t be worth imagining. And if that’s true….then I guess the answer to the question is: Love is Life.
In love and light,
May 27th, 2009 ·
What a wonderful reflection, Martina. I got the chills reading it. Thank you for these meaningful thoughts!