Love is all good—even the edgy bits.
Real, true, actual love is expansive, lush, and deeply comforting, while a tad restless at the same time.
Love is not romance. We can happen to be in love with a romantic interest, and if they love us back, a relationship can be born.
Love is not the same as passion. Passion is simply strong, overpowering feelings and emotions, whether happy or destructive.
Love is something more.
It is wishing the best always, asking for sunshine to rest gently on the beloved’s skin; for the rain that comes periodically to drop gently and, in the end, yield colorful flowers for the beloved to enjoy.
We can be in love with friends, our children, our creative abilities and processes, our siblings—and, of course, with ourselves. Real love abides. It is a free spirit.
“The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it—basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them.”
~ Charles Bukowski
True, real, abiding love flows out to the beloved. We cannot help but love that person, even though he or she may not return the same degree of feeling.
We can feel warmth in the core of our being for someone who may not keep the same feeling burning in their innermost sanctum, possibly because they are frightened to feel it, or they inherently may not return the same depth of feeling. Inequalities like this happen.
But when love is real, it cannot be cancelled out by small considerations such as not having the same degree of feeling returned by the beloved. Love abides, because it is.
When we do not gradually lay a sensation aside because it fades, or we grow tired of the pale fantasies it elicits, then the sensation is true and real. If feelings of attachment, of friendship, of pure fondness grow stronger, deeper with time, then true, real love exists. True, real love wishes the best for the beloved, always.
Sometimes, true, genuine love means backing away and leaving a person alone because it is best for him or her, even though it may be against our wishes. Because true love wishes what is right for the beloved, only what is a blessing for the object of our affection.
It can come in spring or autumn, when we are 21 or 87, because it is not shackled by the requirements of romance or sex or neediness. True love just is, of its own accord—and therein lays its beauty. True love always warms the soul because it burns with its own power.
Love needs no other light but its own.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photos: elephant journal archives