In honor of Valentine’s Day, I am republishing a piece from last year. I think it’s worth reading again – I hope you’ll agree.
We all grapple with the big questions. As young adults, we seek our path as we try to identify a career, a mate, a home. “What is the meaning of life?” When the business of living is in full swing, we are often too busy to study the big picture. But, when it all becomes too much, we speculate – We reexamine our choices. Some persevere, others walk away. Later in the journey, we accept what was, while looking ahead with a sharper eye, knowing time is limited. “What is the meaning of MY life?”
I tend to be a ‘big picture’ person. Philosophy, experience, religion, science all lend themselves to help see the connections between us and the world. They all give our lives meaning. Our relationships become clearer – we are linked to one another and to the universe.
Much of those schools of thought are man-made. Books have been written that endured generations. Lessons have been learned, laws have been written. Great minds have shown us ways to interpret data: Our parents, teachers, ministers, poets. We absorb, process, accept or reject. We arrive at each stage of our lives with a deeper understanding of who we really are and where we are going. (Hopefully).
But, still. What does it all mean?
There is one single, common denominator. It’s not man made. It precedes all else. It is the basis for all other reasoning and yet, it defies all logic. Everything you’ve ever heard, learned or experienced began there: Love.
It exists within each of us and drives everything we do. Religion teaches us that it begins with God’s love. Psychologists believe our mother’s love shapes us. We all seek romantic love. Self-help gurus urge us to love ourselves. Our children initiate us toward unconditional love. We love our friends, our pets, our grandkids. We profess it. We need it. We pursue it. We are burned by it. Without a doubt, it is the most over-used word in the English language.
Love exists in your heart. Everyday. You don’t have to do anything – it’s just there. Always. Even on days when you don’t feel it. There is a never-ending supply. It cannot be depleted, only multiplied. The more you give away, the more there is. No matter what you’re feeling or going through, love is there. We are born with it and we die with it. No matter how many times or how badly you screw it up, love remains. It’s the only constant we have. It’s steadfast, continuous, perpetual and unending.
It is life’s one, perfect gift.
Love one another. Show love to strangers you meet. Act in love to your family. Tell your friends, “I love you.” Vow to love someone who is difficult to love. It’s worth the effort. The more you give, the more you gather.
Love is the answer. Just love. The rest will take care of itself.