Life ends when you stop dreaming, hope ends when you stop believing, love ends when you stop caring, friendship ends when you stop sharing… so share this with whom ever you consider a friend. ~ Anonymous
Each February, perhaps because it seems so appropriate, I am obliged to write something about love while we find ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day. I do not profess to be an expert at love nor be so bold to give you counsel on it but such a complex, confusing and welcome emotion is most certainly worthy of literary comment.
I love you — three little words that can have the most profound impact on the receiver. When someone tells you they love you, even if not completely reciprocated, I recommend that you accept this sentiment with great appreciation – as if someone just delivered a rare gift.
Those three little words can have diverse meanings. You love your friends differently than you do your family. The love of family is profusely treasured and hopefully secure: I will always love you no matter what you do because you are family.
We love our friends because of the joy they bring us and the secrets we have shared. Sometimes we lose contact with friends, but when we see them again we know there’s a great affection that remains protected. Few kinds of love will be as long lasting and constant as a really true friend. On the other hand you can walk away from a friend who has betrayed you and never look back. They are still not family.
On a lighter note there’s the I just love you affirmation, which might be said to someone you know little of, but have made your life so much better, that the words expressed can only have love in them. I just love you, you say to your doctor who finds a remedy for your current malady and calls you at home to make sure you’re better.
And then of course there is quixotic love between two intertwined people that will last a lifetime or arrives with colossal passion like a tsunami and then passes quickly into the sunset. To love with passion takes risk because if unrequited it can be dreadfully painful and when not returned can leave a broken heart effecting future encounters. This is the kind of love that leaves us the most dumbfounded.
Perhaps your best bet is to remember this undocumented quote: we are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with us, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love. This goes with friendships as well.
Conceivably the reckoning of love is first released when you are comfortable enough with someone —friend or lover — to safely share your inner most feelings, knowing that they will be respected. Albert Einstein would pen: how on earth are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as love?
The teachings of Zen tell us that the secret to falling in love is about opening your heart, clearing your mind, becoming present and being exactly who you are. Zen teaches us how to relax our grip. As this happens we begin to see each person as they truly are, not as we wish or demand. We also realize that it is not an act of love, to try to change and control another. It is an act of love to discover and appreciate who they truly are.
The feelings that you have for others is central to who you are…and certainly to them. At all costs please spread the gift of love and friendship, giving and receiving at every opportune moment, out loud and with enthusiasm.
For all of you who are choosing to read yet again my raptures on this elusive subject…I just love you!
by PAMELA HULSE ANDREWS Cascade A&E Publisher