By: Allison Kugel
Love is the most cherished gift that life has to offer. It is also one of life’s greatest mysteries with myriad questions to ponder.
Your heart starts to pound, your palms get sweaty, your mind drifts to that person day and night and you may be exhilarated and scared all at the same time. That is the beginning stage of romantic love. Five years later, and perhaps a marriage, children and a mortgage later, you’re no longer jittery around that person, you can definitely focus on your daily tasks, and in fact, you may not think about your significant other for hours at a time while at work. You may even hit a slump where you find yourself questioning, “Am I still in love?”
The beginning stages of love are just that; the beginning stages. Love is not defined by a list of symptoms like the flu. It’s not a specific destination nor is it an elusive fairytale. The beauty of love is in the journey, and if we are lucky, that journey can last decades where love deepens and takes on many different forms.
In fact, there are times where we may not even like someone we love, but we would still run to their side or have their back at the drop of a hat (even if we have a scowl on our face while doing it).
There are many forms of love. We love our parents, siblings, children, friends, animal companions and life partners. We can love looking at a rainbow or a sunset; and we may love God if that is how we choose to express our faith. Love is not to be judged, but experienced. The beauty of love is that it pulls us out of time and space, and brings us into the present moment. It also helps us in our growth and development as human beings. You cannot grow and expand without experiencing love in all its forms. Love can also be as simple as loving yourself, which is essential before you can love anything or anyone else. The old saying, “You cannot give away what you do not have,” has never been truer.
No matter who you are, know that you are not deficient in love, because you are love. Our endless capacity for love is the greatest superpower we possess. How we define it, measure it, express it, give it and receive it is instrumental in defining the parameters by which we live. We’ve all heard people say things like, “I want to be defined by this,” or “I don’t want to be defined by that.”
You are not defined by past mistakes, nor are you defined by what you perceive as your greatest worldly achievements. We are all defined by our ability to give and receive love. You may at times question the love in your life, particularly as it pertains to romantic love. If you are in a new relationship that is still blossoming, enjoy the ride and know that in order for love to grow, it needs to mature into a deeper, more comfortable love. If you are in a long-term relationship or a marriage and you are longing for the days of new love, remind yourself that just as you would not regress to being a baby or a child again, your ripened and developed love could not and should not regress to that of brand new love. Enjoy the richness and depth of well worn love.