Love is ………
If you asked different people to fill in the blank, you will receive many different answers. Which one is the correct answer? This is where we flounder or lose sight of the true meaning of love. We cannot approach love the way we do anything physical like opening and closing a door, turn the key clockwise to open and anti-clockwise to close. There are no formulas to apply. You have to trust your intuition.
Love isn’t what it means to others. Love is what it means to you.
Love is not about you. Love is about everyone else other than you.
These are the two truths I realized after Alex left us and I started to grieve for him. As you may have heard, I went through all the different stages of grief from denial and anger to eventually, acceptance.
Love is a mystery only if you don’t love. When you love someone the way I love Alex, love is a revelation.
You don’t look for love.
I realized that love means not asking or expecting but giving.
I went from asking myself, “If Alex loved me, why did he leave?” to “I love Alex and his absence still does not change the fact that I love him.” I went from doubt and disappointment to faith and hope.
I love Alex. There is no disputing that. Is it true that I cannot see him or I cannot touch him? No it isn’t. Even though I cannot see him the way I see these words appear on the page, in many ways I can feel his presence just like I know what these words mean.
I don’t need physical proof. I know he exists. As the bard said, “Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind.”
I am aware of his presence in my life. His spirit lives with the love I have and will always have in my heart.
Love is not a physical thing.
When people, including poets, attempt to describe love, they use metaphors because it is the only way our minds can wrap itself around an emotion. So, we use visual comparisons such as love is a many-splendored thing or love is beauty.
Or we borrow meanings from our limited knowledge. Of philosophy or religion and call love blind or visionary, human or divine.
The thing is love is not a thing. It is faith.
Love is the only basis to have a relationship. A relationship built on any other emotion is not worth having.
Even the most transitive and transactional connections we make every day is built on love in one way or another. When a salesperson sells you a product or when you eat at a restaurant or you board an airplane, you are basically entrusting your life or some part of it to a person you hardly know. Why?
You have faith that the outcome will be good. You cannot enjoy these transitional or transactional relationships if you harbor misgivings. You need to love a person in a way, to buy something from him or her or sell someone something. The world really revolves around love. If there was no love, we wouldn’t exist.
You are in my heart.
Where is Alex? He is in my heart.
This is true of any person I love. It is not a physical phenomenon because just like the saying home is where the heart is, love has its own world. It’s made not just of memories and hope but conviction and belief, as well.
The pain of separation begins with doubt. When someone leaves, our mind becomes weak and our heart feels pain. You look for and find fault in you and around you. This is because we find it hard to reconcile the existence of anything other than the physical.
What is on the other side?
Denial and distrust hurts not just you but the person you love as well. How can it hurt someone who isn’t here, you may well ask? Do you really believe that the person you loved doesn’t feel the anger, the bitterness and the frustration that you feel?
Was it tragic? Yes it was. Is it going to change how I love? No, it isn’t. Tragedy cannot change love. I looked for my soul in silence and sadness, by brooding and turning bitter, through examining the past and analyzing it. I couldn’t find it.
I let love return and my soul acknowledged the presence of Alex and my love for him as unchanging and eternal. This was for me a spiritual experience. I suddenly realized what Alex meant when he said, “I am not religious.” You don’t have to be religious to be spiritual. You only need to have love and kindness.
What’s on the other side? I am not sure exactly but I know that my love for Alex has the power to transcend any boundaries and reach him. My love is eternal.
“I love you for eternity, in all directions of time!”