Today’s post is by my friend and regular contributor Debra Dickey.
Love. An oddly challenging concept for me to write about — definitions and dimensions; cursive and variegated; richly prismatic, yet often elusive. I understand love, I know what love is all about, and I am quite unselfish when sharing love. Fluid in sentiment and arbitrary in measurement, still, love can certainly be experienced in a variety of shapes, forms, sizes, depths, and degrees.
My growing-up years were more about ‘food, clothing, and shelter’ kinds of love — making sure we were safe, that we were doing what we were supposed to, and that we, in return, exhibited the appropriate respect and appreciation for others. I never felt “unloved”, but neither were there open displays of affection in our home, hugs and personal interactions, those sorts of things, but there was always care. And I knew that to be true. Shading.
When I had children of my own, I quickly learned a different universe of love that I chose to expand and build on and never let go of. So, I created the unconditional relationship of pure love with my children that I wanted them to know, and that I so desired as the parent of two wonderful people. They got it, and by knowing their kind and thoughtful reciprocations, there is joy. Resounding love.
I’ve also experienced something that was supposed to be love, but was not, from one who should have been my biggest supporter, but had not the emotional capability to honor that role, toward hollowness. Arduous love.
And every day, I am mindful of the people around me who love me, and I do know who they are. It is ever amazing to be a part of who they are, and celebrate with revelry in what they are to me — real and genuine and without ulterior motive. I love them back! Gregarious love.
Despite not always knowing how it will turn out, I have loved, and will, love fluently with all my whole heart and every ounce of my being, many, many times, and I would not trade one of those moments for anything the world has to offer. If we are fortunate, the very best that we can hope for is to be the admirable recipient of undiluted, unadulterated, beautiful love at its noblest – by whichever description it is that we choose to identify its meaningfulness.
In bunches, on its own, soaring, or in a whisper…. Love is what it is. Exotic or common, crusty or smooth around the edges. Not always where you look, but occasionally found in unexpected places. Sometimes it’s grand, sometimes it’s dumb, sometimes it’s ugly, sometimes it’s easy, and more often than not, it is rare.