Love, In All Its Complexity and Beauty

17



What is love? How might each of us describe this complex emotion? This is something that, in giving a lot of thought to, suddenly found my pen flying across paper.

Love has hundreds of facets and dimensions, making this a nearly impossible thing to fully explain or pinpoint with a relatively simple explanation. Love is found not only in the grand gestures but even more so, in the smaller nuanced ones. Love is a compilation of moments throughout the span of our relationship with that person.

The beginnings of possible love can be found in the fluttering of wings inside your stomach, those initial hours spent together building upon the connection and interest you already feel.

Love can be glimpsed in all its possibility within that first kiss that isn’t just a kiss, but a moment that causes a deep physical and emotional movement inside. You know it when you feel it. Most first kisses aren’t like this. A few are.Love can be seen growing in the favorites and preferences one begins to store away in their memory banks about the one for which they are falling. His most loved meal is salmon, his favorite type of candy is Reese. Her favorite sweet is strawberry shortcake, her favorite tea, Jasmine. Love is giving interest and time towards getting to know the people to whom your love is pronounced.Love is waking up early and making their eggs just the way they like them. Or, spending hours of an afternoon patiently along for the searching of the perfect shoes with your partner. Or, putting in hours to create a scrapbook of all the shared memories you have together.

Love is the swell of happiness you feel when hearing them sigh sweetly in their sleep, or the warmth of their head on your chest.

Love becomes clear when how they look at you changes. The shift is subtle but there. The way they touch you more protectively and tenderly. The warmth and affection visible in their gaze, coupled with the sweet knowing smile playing on their lips. Love is the hand squeeze that´s a secret symbol for something more. The personal, endearing, and laughter-evoking nicknames you unearth for each other along the way.Love is the act of focusing, listening, and choosing to be present and interested. Even when sometimes this is challenging. Love is the conversation that continues hours into the night, even when you are exhausted. It’s all the conversations you’ve had, built up like a multi-layered cake of stories, one on top of the other, of feelings and words.Love is the Christmas gift you painstakingly searching out and considered, in the hopes it will take their breath away.

Love is the heartfelt handwritten card, note, poem, or letter which speaks of your feelings for them. Its gifts and sentiments that reflect the object of your affections unique personality and passions.

Love is being curious about their story. Their past, who they are right now, and what they will become and grow into. Love is wanting to know someone deeply. And along the way, ever striving towards unearthing new discoveries about them.Love is turning towards someone, instead of away. Love is seeing those traits about them first hand that irk or frustrate you, yet still reveling in their company. Infatuation is blind, but real love is with eyes wide open. Seeing and adoring still. Love isn’t just being there when it’s convenient or easy, but about being there when it’s not.

Love is about choosing to confront and push through emotional challenges. Love is not just a feeling. It’s an action and a choice. Love gives priority to maintaining the relationship and connection.

Its meeting their eyes across the room at a party and feeling comforted, overjoyed in being there with this person. As though sharing your own sweet, special secret in the moment of eyes locking across the room. Love is the joy and relaxation you feel with them under the suns warmth, lounging together at the beach. Or, cuddled under a cozy blanket during winter time, bodies draped over one another.

Love is sharing your soul with another person. Love is someone sharing their soul with you.

Love doesn’t judge or condemn. Love doesn’t possess or suffocate. Love is loyal. Love is fun. Love is laughter. Love is giving. Love is patience. Love is open. Love is compromise.It´s the surge of emotion stirring in your stomach, the tingling in your limbs as you see them walking towards you after not having seen them for a while. Love is excitement. Love is comfort. Its feeling safe in their arms and in their presence. Love is seeing all of someone, but focusing on all that you treasure about them.Love is choosing to run towards someone instead of away. Yet, love also understands when someone needs space.Love is a certain type of kiss. You can feel the difference behind their lips when love is present.Love is longing for someone when they’ve gone away for a while. It’s the ache you feel within your chest on missing the sound of their laughter, or the warm weight of their hug. Love can feel helpless, knowing that like any relationship, it may or may not work out and this terrifying you. Stomach clenching when considering such a possibility, unable to fathom a life without them in it. Love chooses not to fathom this.

Love is hope. Love searches for loopholes.Love can be overwhelming, evoking the full spectrum of the poignant emotions. Anger. Jealousy. Elation. Thrill. Romance. Devastation. Desire. Heartbreak. Regret. Fear. Comfort. Warmth. Understanding. Joy.

Love encompasses the whole gamete of human feeling.Love is when your story becomes the lyrics of a songs to which you listen. It’s every person who makes you look twice because they wear the same type of jacket, or have the same style of hair as the one you love.Love is making plans and discussing dreams.Its adventure and wonder. Love is being inspired and moved. Its feeling scared and doing it anyway. It’s cherishing everything this person has to tell you. Love is wondering about them before you fall asleep. It’s the slideshow movie of all the memories and emotions you have together stored away in the keepsake box of your heart. Its anticipating with bated breath, all that’s to come.Love is having reasons to hate someone and yet, choosing to feel the opposite. Love is complicated. Its messy and its complex. Love is being deeply, soul-shatteringly hurt by someone and yet, still feeling unconditional care towards them.Love is brave. Love is thoughtful. Love stumbles and it can fall. Love challenges and stretches you.