Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Love Is Good

The heart is a strong organ, high in demand, and relied upon to keep us alive. In the matter of organs, it's kind of a big deal. Without it, life isn't as lively. So to speak. Except, we kind of take it for granted. It beats day and night, but we don't count the pulses. And the thing is, it doesn't get weekends off, or go on holidays. You'll never see the heart planning a day at the beach for the Fourth of July or Canada Day. No, the heart is a work horse. Not only does it keep us alive, pumping blood through our bodies, but it also is the epicentre of who we are.

The heart is a home for our love.

But what is love? (Oh, good, another hippy blog!)

Yesterday, I was talking to my friend Rae-Anne and asked her what she thought love was. Unfortunately, I wanted a nice and simple answer, a couple words max, something to calm me and direct me back to my path when I've strayed off into frustration and my misanthropic tendencies start taking over. Sadly, she didn't have an easy answer. What a surprise. Much to the annoyance of my exasperated head and tested heart, we ended up talking about love for a couple of hours. Yes, I am a sucker for punishment.

She pointed out how love means something different depending on who you're talking to. A child would explain love in a very different manner than an eighty-year-old man who has never been married or a twenty-three year old who just fell head-over-idiotic-heels for the coolest dude at her college. The child might attribute hugs and bedtime stories to love, but the young woman might think of roses and fantastic sex.

And my friend also said you have to consider the types of love. Like how we feel about our dogs versus our boyfriends, mothers, children, friends, and booty-calls. That you don't harbour the same feelings for all of them. That there are changes in the degrees of your affections. You can love your dog unconditionally, but can you do the same for a person? Is a love for a child purer than the love for your spouse?

Well, those questions only prodded my heart and mind even more.

You see, we kind of got stuck on what love should be. We sort of figured there should be respect. And freedom. Trust. Ideally, love is natural and isn't forced or contrived. It'd be wonderful if it was easy and fun and sweet and came without worry, fear and doubt. But from what I can tell, the love manufactured by movies and books and television, the love so many of us are striving for, revolves around wants and needs and unrealistic demands and ridiculous grand gestures. To me, this misses the mark. It's what we fill our lives with in hopes of avoiding heartache, but it only ends up making us feel empty, and alone.

Love doesn't come from gifts, grand gestures or romantic encounters. But where does it come from?
It feels like a complex and deluded subject. But is it?

I kept coming back to the simple question, what is love? My mind has been spinning its wheels, right along side my heart, trying to come up with an answer. People say love cannot be defined, but I think it can. I think it is simpler than we give it credit for. It isn't so complex or mind-twisting or heart-wrenching. You see, I don't think there is room for hurt with love. Only understanding and peace.

To me, it isn't about being taken care of. It isn't about gifts, pet names, feeling protected or wanted or needed or cherished or adored. It isn't about sticking beside someone for twenty years through thick and thin. Love isn't expecting someone to shower you with affection every moment of every day. It isn't hugs, kisses or amazing sex. It isn't laying in bed eating cupcakes and listening to Tom Petty. It isn't.

There are no shoulds or coulds or woulds with love.

Stripped down, in its truest, simplest sense: Love Is Good.

It comes from a good place. Surrounded by good intentions. With good feelings. And it is given without reservation. It comes naturally. There is no room for ego. Or obligations. There is no fear or worry or pain or disappointment. There are no demands.

They say love never fails and that we should love one another. But more importantly, we need to love ourselves. It comes from inside us first. It isn't until we can be happy with ourselves that we can fully understand what it means to unconditionally love. Then it will come for everyone we make contact with. It will come with understanding, patience, compassion, kindness and freedom. And forgiveness. It comes with forgiveness and never leaves. It will envelope the earth, and all the creatures big and small.

Love is simple. And, if unpolluted by our unrealistic expectations, it is easy, like laughter. It is constant like the sun, moon and stars. And natural as breathing. It is as strong as the raging rivers and rolling seas. And as refreshing as raindrops hitting our upturned faces. Immovable as the mountains. Deep as the ocean. Expansive as the universe. It is in every sunrise and sunset. It is in us all.

Love is good.

Or at least that's how I see it.


Greg Edwards said...

Your blog is all black on Google Reader and when I click on the link. A black heart? Can't read it properly. BooHoo!

Tyson said...

Try that now. It should work.

Exmoorjane said...

I ponder this. I figure love is energy...and that it vibrates at different levels with different people and things. High up there is the biggie - the huge all-consuming vibration of the universe, the bit where We Are All One (oh yeah, hippy comment for hippy post ;) and then we get ripples of that down into the more mundane aspects of life (if, indeed, you can separate them out). So...it's a question of how well we vibrate with people. How smoothly our molecules rub against each other. Maybe. :) Shit, Tee...I dunno. :D (back to knitted things...hey, just found knitted Death Star. :)