The more I live, the more I understand love. What it is, and what it isn't:
It is now clear that love is to be found within myself, and not outside.
Love does not expect anything from the other person.
Love is about giving, not expecting.
Love does not ask for the person to stick around, or love us.
Love does not discriminate, and offers a limitless world of people to be loved.
Love is an inclination of the heart.
Love is also a discipline of the mind to not close the heart.
Love is about not demanding from others the perfection that eludes us.
Lately, I have been gifted with yet another insight about love. I have come to realize that each person has a different way of expressing love. Some ways are more obvious, others less so and require some deciphering. Mostly, I need to not project my own way with love unto others. It is helpful being aware of one's idea about love. I tend to equal love with kind words, physical closeness, and generous gestures. That's a lot to ask . . .
Others around me have been my best teachers, showing me different, and sometimes opposite ways of expressing love:
One is clumsy with words and quick to react. Yet, he can be the kindest, most generous man. I can choose to focus on his weakness, or I can hone in on the times when his heart 'speaks'.
Another shows her love through food, just like the man in the movie 'Eat Drink Man Woman'. No words of love ever exchanged, or tight embraces to be had, but instead lovely feasts in the kitchen.
That one has a way with gifts also, always knowing what will please me. Gift giving is an attempt by the otherwise parsimonious heart to say, "I love you".
My father who was a difficult man, showed me his love by always coming through when I needed help.
'She' expresses her love through a pet, and pulls me in by texting me cute pictures of the dog, wondering "what would I do without him?"
My mother whose clinginess I tried to run away from, gave me the safety of her unconditional love.
Love comes to us in many ways. It is up to us to recognize it!
How can you tell that someone is trying to show you love?