Monday, March 30, 2015

Musings on Love

There are many forms of love, some uncontrollably passionate and wild, some conservative and restrained, yet all are from the same sturdy foundation. They all, whether life-long or fleeting, evoke that same feeling; whether it be a look, a touch, a call, or a distant memory in a black-and-white photo, the middle of your face tingles, moistening your eyes, you feel your heart and its heavy weight in your chest, and, like air filling your lungs, it fills your core, your soul.

In its universality love touches everyone and its effect on a person has the potential to be life-changing. As a baby we are born into this world and eventually come to learn love through others. Perhaps you first feel love from your parents, or another family member. Maybe you even come to learn about love from a nonbiological person. You finally realize the meaning behind the phrase, "I love you." At some point, you learn love as a child. It's associated with a caring look and a genuine compassion felt from someone. After that, you realize it's your turn to start reciprocating, and out of your birth comes the birth of love in you.

However, no life is perfect, and not all childhoods are positive. I'm lucky enough that my childhood was generally good. No divorce. No abuse. No poverty. No tragedy. For those who have experienced a troubled childhood, I hope you find genuine love at some point in life, so you can be your truest, happiest self.

Learned familial-type love expresses comfort and caring, and it's a treasure I seek to return to in order to feel whole again. As I get older I realize the concept of love spreads beyond just family and friends, to the global population. I can love anyone. And it feels pretty good.

(Photo of Happy Rockefeller embracing her son Nelson Jr. at home in Maine, by Alfred Eisenstaedt)

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