There is nothing that weakens the human spirit more than discouragement, and there’s also nothing more powerful then gifting unconditional love. While Valentine’s Day tempts romantics to binge watch Hallmark movies, re-read favorite romance novels, and swoon at the drop of the slightest amorous gesture, there are those of us who cringe at the sights and sounds.
Heart day isn’t just about daydreaming we’re some character in the next Nicholas Sparks novel. After all, love stripped of Eros, the heart-pounding passionate kind, dives layers beneath our epidermis. Some of us hate Valentine’s Day because we’re divorced, single, breaking up, or simply skeptical that the pseudo-holiday is nothing more than a commercialized scam created by florists and department stores looking to sell you perfume to go along with those roses.
Regardless, discouragement and its sibling emotion hate are two of the same. At their root, these emotions usually afflict the lonely.
One doesn’t need to desire romantic love to be in this camp.
You can be in a crowd of hundreds and feel completely alone. At the end of the day, we are built to love and be loved. We desire acceptance and communion with the communities surrounding us. Love is a noun and a verb. It is a feeling and it is action.
Love is how you treat others and less about the words you say or the gifts you give. Love is more about what you give to yourself, despite the fact that your parents, flaws and all, might not have been able to give you the perfect “loving” parental experience. Your childhood might be full of disappointment and dysfunction. Your romantic relationships might equally mirror the disconnect you absorbed as a child.
At the end of a very long day, love is more than a string of clichés perfectly weaved together by the best wordsmith. Love is subtler than grandiose overtures paid for by someone with a fat wallet.
While there isn’t anything wrong with being in love with the idea of love, there isn’t anything wrong with being a romance reader, writer, and natural born romance addict. But, at the end of the day when you are told you have a terminal illness or something less dramatic, like wanting to find and accept ourselves, then there’s nothing more that the doctor can prescribe but love. Unconditional love, or Agape, ventures beneath our skin and under what drives our lust. Unconditional love is just that, love without conditions and restrictions.
Sometimes, in our darkest moments or even our happiest, we feel whole because instead of words someone is holding our hand and just being present without judgment and unrealistic expectations. Love is subtle and yet sacrificial all at once. It is absent of conclusions and equipped instead with an open mind. It is filling a void not with someone, but with the knowledge that we are enough without qualifications, degrees, agendas, and accomplishments.
Discouragement can feel like a chain around our necks, drowning us in an ocean of hopelessness and despair. Perhaps you don’t struggle with discouragement; I challenge you to show love to someone who might not be feeling as strong as you. That’s what love is, reaching beyond our bubble and welcoming the afflicted, the flawed, and the weak and giving them something that can’t be bought in a department store nearest you.
No, love is much more. It is simple action such as quality time. Similarly, love is easing up on yourself and embracing your mistakes as well as acknowledging your accomplishments.
Love can be powerful and transforming. At the same time so can hate, discouragement, and anger. When you choose to project love, you choose a kind of vulnerability that is not weak but instead shows immense strength.
Read More on Collaboration with a Purpose: Love
(Links will be added when they’re up!)
- Barb Caffrey: Celebrating the Love of Friends: A Collaboration with a Purpose Post
- Ipuna Black: A Mother’s Love
- Nicolle K.: Collaboration with a Purpose: Love – There’s No One Right Way to Love
- Sadaf Siddiqi: Love and Respect
- Mylene Orillo: 5 People You Will Love in Your Lifetime
- Sonyo Estavillo: Love as a Solution: Diving Below the Superficial
- Divyang Shah: Love The Living Being
- Swati Kadam: Complement