Monday, July 28, 2014

Defining Love

It has taken me a lifetime to learn the definition of love. 
I love my husband, chocolate ice cream cones, and warm socks. I use the same word to describe all three though they do not carry equal weight in my heart. 
When asked which of my children or grandchildren I love the most, I cannot answer that without sounding trite.  I love them all equally, yet I love them each differently.
I could say I love my husband, I crave chocolate ice cream cones, and I hanker for warm socks, but love is the word I really want to use.
The problem with using the word love to describe the object of our affection is that we are assigning a word to emotions, two separate and unlike entities.
We want to make sense of sensations. We want to rule our heads when it is being run by our hearts.  We give it a commonplace name in hopes of controlling a concept. We seek to keep order in our lives when our hormones are running red hot.
We forget that passion is erratic and capricious.  We can try to tame it. We can try to predict it.  We can give it the noble name of love, but it will still bubble to the surface for what it is – passion.
So here is my definition of love: the word is a chameleon:  it is a feeling that changes depending on who or what we love. Because it defies being constrained into words, it comes with color and texture and three-dimensional sound. It has taste and smell.
When I say I love my husband, it is in bold reds and greens. The word love is Christmas with twinkly lights. It is warm cuddly socks and baked oatmeal cookies. It is shared soft chuckles, and a dear voice calling me his Goddess.
When I say I love my children and grandchildren, each love changes into mixtures of colors, textures, sounds, smells, and tastes.
Only then can someone understand when I say I love them all equally yet differently.

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