As I sit here tonight at my desk, listening to the soulful sounds of Lucero, I am pondering these questions. What is love? And what does it mean to truly love someone? Webster's dictionary defines the noun love as strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties. Also as an attraction based on sexual desire or an affection and tenderness felt by lovers and affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests. The definition of the verb love is to hold dear, to cherish, or to feel a lover's passion, devotion, or tenderness for or to caress and to fondle amorously, to copulate with. It is also defined as: to like or desire actively: to take pleasure in. I find it interesting that even though I do agree with these definitions there is no description of what makes someone feel the love itself. In case you are wondering this is all stemming from a conversation I had last night with a fellow alcoholic. It is said that we “alcoholics” remain the age we were when we started drinking. So the conversation started with this and our concepts of love. Are the concepts we have on the subject of love based on the way we thought about love as 15 and 16 year olds? She started drinking at 15 and me at 16. So does this mean that the ideas we have on love are completely skewed? She seems to think so, at least for herself. So this got me thinking about what my own ideas are on the subject... Maybe you can decide if my thoughts on love are one’s of a teenager or one’s of a 38 year old grown man.
So I could try and start with my ideas about the different kinds of love. The love we have for family and friends, but that is not where my mind is tonight. Those of you that know me well know that I am focusing on the love we have for a mate. The romantic side of the subject is where I find myself tonight questioning my own thoughts. I shared with my friend last night that my definition of love is a feeling for someone that I do not want to live without. So what is inherent in the other person that makes me not want to live without them? I will keep the things to myself that makes me love the woman I do, but I will share with you some things that I do believe define a loving relationship. Loyalty is at the top of the list for me. This is something that is hard to come by the older we get, so the person I am in love with should be loyal… If you are my person, I will defend you, right or wrong. I will always be on your side, when facing the outside world. The concept of loyalty then leads to trust. Without trust, what do we have? I have to trust you with my most intimate feelings. Things I don’t share with anyone, even my sponsor. I also have to trust that my person will remain faithful… We live in a world full of infidelity and temptation. Sure there are plenty of beautiful people out in the world away from our mates, but for me this is something that is a must… For me, the love that I have, makes it hard for me to even imagine being with another woman. SO I definitely expect the same out of a mate. The next component to my love for a mate is the friendship. The ability to enjoy each other’s company is so important. To laugh, to talk, and to sit in complete silence and not ever feel uncomfortable with each other is so important to me. The last thing I am going to touch on is this simple question. Does my mate challenge me every day? Does she challenge me to be a stronger, smarter, kinder, wiser, more compassionate person? And do I push her the same way? I will always have room to be a better lover, son, friend, brother, sponsor, and employee… These are a few things that define my love… What defines yours?
I will leave you tonight with this quote from one of my favorite authors.
“We all have the potential to fall in love a thousand times in our lifetime. It's easy. The first girl I ever loved was someone I knew in sixth grade. Her name was Missy; we talked about horses. The last girl I love will be someone I haven't even met yet, probably. They all count. But there are certain people you love who do something else; they define how you classify what love is supposed to feel like. These are the most important people in your life, and you’ll meet maybe four or five of these people over the span of 80 years. But there’s still one more tier to all this; there is always one person you love who becomes that definition. It usually happens retrospectively, but it happens eventually. This is the person who unknowingly sets the template for what you will always love about other people, even if some of these loveable qualities are self-destructive and unreasonable. The person who defines your understanding of love is not inherently different than anyone else, and they’re often just the person you happen to meet the first time you really, really, want to love someone. But that person still wins. They win, and you lose. Because for the rest of your life, they will control how you feel about everyone else.” ― Chuck Klosterman, Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story
Good night, God bless, and don’t forget to pray!