Love- So Difficult to Define
Love transcends time and space, age and appearances.
It transcends pride and ego, fear, wealth and death.
It is at once obvious and yet mysterious.
It can't be placed upon a shelf to be revisited, but lives on actively and follows its own path.
We can't find it when we search for it, or lose it by carelessness.
It is more than the sum of one plus one makes two.
We are fortunate to experience it, but we must be open to it, which makes us vulnerable.
Goodness! It is February once again. How did that happen so quickly? I used to think I favored summer with the warm weather and carefree dress code, but summer is frantic. I can look at our pool but rarely go into it. Winter is where it's at. All of the stress of the holidays is over. Just the fun stuff on the horizon. My birthday, Valentine's Day, St Patrick's Day, Easter, and then things begin to ramp up until life becomes a frenzied list of to do's and I'd rather it be to don'ts. Ah that sounds so lazy. It really isn't- it is just that I really enjoy this period of the New Year, a new start, new goals, and time to think! I can be a human "Be"ing instead of a human "Do"ing. It is heaven on Earth- and I feel especially blessed to live in Southern CA where the sun shines most days.
Those who know me know that Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday. I appreciate the packaging with glitter and cellophane, roses and chocolate. It's a time to appreciate our loved ones without the added pressure of excessive preparations.
So of course it is time to muse on Love! What better topic is there? Oh the quotes are so inspiring. I have to hand it to the French for being so eloquent. If you have an extra moment, please click on the Quote Garden link and read the rest of the quotes I did not take the time to post. They were delicious.
So I will take this opportunity to meander down the winding road of my thoughts on love. Specifically Romantic Love. It is one of the intangibles- impossible to put into a box with a definitive description. I think it manifests differently for each one of us and thus so many quotes!
Here is my definition: it begins with infatuation. The other appears to be perfect- without defect. Delightful in every sense. We are entranced by everything they say as just hearing their voice is exciting. The thought of them puts butterflies in our tummy and a blush to our cheeks. It's not about what they can do for us, but more about what we can do for them. Expectations are at a minimum. They are the first person we think about upon waking and the last person we think about before succumbing to slumber. Five minutes without contact seems to be an eternity, and hours spent together are fleeting. We can be content to simply be together in any sense- waiting in a line together is exciting. This is infatuation. I keep reminding my kids that they will have no doubt once it strikes and not to settle for anyone that doesn't trigger this joyous misery.
Per the grand design, it would be impractical were infatuation to endure. The necessities of life would not get completed. The laundry would pile up. Groceries would not be purchased. We'd all starve and die!!
At first we are immersed in the magic of it all. That perfect person who can do no wrong has entered into our life. Fortune smiled and blessed us with this one soul mate. It is a miracle and gives purpose to our existence. It is beautiful. But not generally sustainable.
Infatuation plays an important part in motivating us to get together in the first place. Once that purpose is served, some of the excitement wears off, and we get to know each other as real people. This is where commitment comes in handy.
For those of us who do choose to commit, to dive under the crashing waves together, holding our breath and coming up for air in the calmer waters beyond the challenges of child rearing and mortgage payments, I believe there can be a second infatuation. That is if we have worked on maintaining respect, consideration and appreciation. At least my older brother told me so. He and his wife seem very content :-) They are proud grandparents and have time to travel and pursue their interests.
One of my friends from France explained that when we are spending time with our "Love" it should almost be as if we are in front of the mirror. We see the truth. We are comfortable and can be ourself without worries of judgment. This kind of love is risky and rare but it exists and it is beautiful!
I love to watch the older couples who have been married for most of their lives. They work as a team. Their mutual respect and admiration is unmistakable. I am blessed to be great friends with a dear couple, and I am taking notes on the way they treat each other. He does most of the cooking and cleaning; she keeps a constant smile, plans their social life and lets him choose what to watch on the television. They genuinely enjoy each other's company after 65 years together!
Another example was one time when we were at a dinner honoring my in-law's 65 years together, and our table was behind a table with a darling older couple. They must have been in their nineties. They sat holding hands. When the dinner arrived, the Mrs., who was on the left side of the Mr., had to break the handholding, so that she could eat. But what she did was so precious. She reached behind her back with her left hand in order to grasp her husband's left hand while they were eating. It was so special. This is love. It commands respect, adoration, appreciation and caring. It is savoring the good times and forgetting the bad. Remembering on a daily basis why you decided to build a life together. Love takes effort! But don't most of the greater things in life?
Child's Definition of LOVE.
A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, "What does love mean?" The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:
"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love." Rebecca - age 8
When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth." Billy - age 4
"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other." Karl - age 5
"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs." Chrissy - age 6
"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired." Terri - age 4
Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK." Danny - age 7
"Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss" Emily - age 8
"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen," Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)
"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate," Nikka - age 6
"There are two kinds of love. Our love. God's love. But God makes both kinds of them." Jenny - age 8
"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday." Noelle - age 7
"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well." Tommy - age 6
"During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore," Cindy - age 8
"My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night." Clare - age 6
"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken." Elaine -age 5
"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford." Chris - age 7
"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day." Mary Ann - age 4
"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones." Lauren - age 4
"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you." Karen - age 7
"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross." Mark - age 6
"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget," Jessica - age 8
Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child. The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked him what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry."
Cherries dipped in White Chocolate
Pretty simple- melt white chocolate, dip the cherries, and sprinkle with the silver balls.
"Just The Way You Are"
by Johnny Mathis
Don't go changing, to try and please me
You never let me down before
Don't imagine you're too familiar
And I don't see you anymore
I wouldn't leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times, I'll take the bad times
I'll take you just the way you are
I need to know that you will always be
The same old someone that I knew
What will it take 'till you believe in me
The way that I believe in you.
I said I love you, and that's forever
And this I promise from the heart
I could not love you any better
I love you just the way you are.
I don't want clever conversation
I never want to work that hard
I just want someone that I can talk to
I want you just the way you are
I want you just the way you are....
One last love song for you diehards.... click here!
Love is the magician that pulls man out of his own hat. ~Ben Hecht
A bell is no bell 'til you ring it,
A song is no song 'til you sing it,
And love in your heart
Wasnt put there to stay -
Love isnt love
'Til you give it away.
~Oscar Hammerstein, Sound of Music, "You Are Sixteen (Reprise)"
Love is like dew that falls on both nettles and lilies. ~Swedish Proverb
Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity. ~Henry Van Dyke
Love is much nicer to be in than an automobile accident, a tight girdle, a higher tax bracket or a holding pattern over Philadelphia. ~Judith Viorst, Redbook, 1975
Passion makes the world go round. Love just makes it a safer place. ~Ice T, The Ice Opinion, quoted in Reader's Digest, "Quotable Quotes," February 2002
Love is no respecter of age or practicality
Neither morality: unabashed
She enters where she will
Unheeding that her immortal fires
Burn up human hearts...
~Phillip Pulfrey, from Beyond Me, www.originals.net
Love is an ocean of emotions entirely surrounded by expenses. ~Lord Dewar
When you're in love you never really know whether your elation comes from the qualities of the one you love, or if it attributes them to her; whether the light which surrounds her like a halo comes from you, from her, or from the meeting of your sparks. ~Natalie Clifford Barney
Only in love are unity and duality not in conflict. ~Rabindranath Tagore
It is astonishing how little one feels alone when one loves. ~John Bulwer
'Tis sweet to know there is an eye will mark our coming, and look brighter when we come. ~Lord Byron
A hundred hearts would be too few
To carry all my love for you.
Love is the thing that enables a woman to sing while she mops up the floor after her husband has walked across it in his barn boots. ~Author unknown, as printed in The Hoosier Farmer
Love is an exploding cigar we willingly smoke. ~Lynda Barry
Those who are faithful know only the trivial side of love; it is the faithless who know love's tragedies. ~Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891
Love cures peopleboth the ones who give it and the ones who receive it. ~Karl Menninger
If grass can grow through cement, love can find you at every time in your life. ~Cher
Love is staying up all night with a sick child or a healthy adult. ~David Frost
Love doesn't sit there like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all of the time, made new. ~Ursula K. Le Guin
Love is not singular except in syllable. ~Marvin Taylor
Love is the word used to label the sexual excitement of the young, the habituation of the middle-aged, and the mutual dependence of the old. ~John Ciardi
People who are sensible about love are incapable of it. ~Douglas Yates
While duty measures the regard it owes
With scrupulous precision and nice justice,
Love never reasons, but profusely gives,
Gives, like a thoughtless prodigal, its all,
And trembles then, lest it has done too little.
Ah me! why may not love and life be one? ~Henry Timrod
Take away love and our earth is a tomb. ~Robert Browning
Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds. ~William Shakespeare, "Sonnet CXVI"
He felt now that he was not simply close to her, but that he did not know where he ended and she began. ~Leo Tolstoy
Take love as a sober man takes wine; do not become a drunkard. If your mistress is sincere and faithful, love her for that; but if she is not, if she is merely young and beautiful, love her for that; if she is agreeable and spirituelle, love her for that; if she is none of these things but merely loves you, love her for that. Love does not come to us every day. ~Alfred de Musset, The Confession of a Child of the Century/La Confession d'un enfant du siècle, 1836, Desgenais to Octave, translated from French by Kendall Warren
Love.... Its eternal goal is life.... No one who has ever brought up a child can doubt for a moment that love is literally the life-giving fluid of human existence. ~Smiley Blanton, quoted in Woman's Home Companion, 1956
A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love. ~Mother Teresa
You don't have to go looking for love when it's where you come from. ~Werner Erhard
No one can understand love who has not experienced infatuation. And no one can understand infatuation, no matter how many times he has experienced it. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
It would be impossible to "love" anyone or anything one knew completely. Love is directed towards what lies hidden in its object. ~Paul Valéry, Tel quel, 1943
Sometimes it's a form of love just to talk to somebody that you have nothing in common with and still be fascinated by their presence. ~David Byrne
Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired. ~Robert Frost
You know you're in love when you don't want to fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams. ~Dr. Seuss
Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place. ~Zora Neale Hurston
Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same. ~Emily Brontë
The excesses of love soon pass, but its insufficiencies torment us forever. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
An old man in love is like a flower in winter. ~Portuguese Proverb
Click on the image below to access the mystery link.
borrowed from Quote Garden
Less is more unless it's love. ~Ben Mittleman
The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread. ~Mother Teresa
Love can only end in indifference. If it ends in hate, it hasn't ended. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love. ~Albert Einstein
There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved. It is God's finger on man's shoulder. ~Charles Morgan
You have to walk carefully in the beginning of love; the running across fields into your lover's arms can only come later when you're sure they won't laugh if you trip. ~Jonathan Carroll, "Outside the Dog Museum"
Ah me! love can not be cured by herbs. ~Ovid
Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence. ~Erich Fromm
Love has no desire but to fulfill itself. To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving. ~Khalil Gibran
Infatuation is when you think he's as sexy as Robert Redford, as smart as Henry Kissinger, as noble as Ralph Nader, as funny as Woody Allen, and as athletic as Jimmy Conners. Love is when you realize that he's as sexy as Woody Allen, as smart as Jimmy Connors, as funny as Ralph Nader, as athletic as Henry Kissinger and nothing like Robert Redford but you'll take him anyway. ~Judith Viorst, Redbook, 1975
Love is only a dirty trick played on us to achieve continuation of the species. ~W. Somerset Maugham, A Writer's Notebook, 1949
Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand and Stars, 1939, translated from French by Lewis Galantière
When love is not madness, it is not love. ~Pedro Calderon de la Barca
Let your love be like the misty rains, coming softly, but flooding the river. ~Malagasy Proverb
Do I love you because you're beautiful,
Or are you beautiful because I love you?
~Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, Cinderella
For you see, each day I love you more
Today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.
Forget love I'd rather fall in chocolate! ~Sandra J. Dykes
Love is much like a wild rose, beautiful and calm, but willing to draw blood in its defense. ~Mark Overby
Love is a symbol of eternity. It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end. ~Author Unknown
Love a wildly misunderstood although highly desirable malfunction of the heart which weakens the brain, causes eyes to sparkle, cheeks to glow, blood pressure to rise and the lips to pucker. ~Author Unknown
Love is a sweet tyranny, because the lover endureth his torments willingly. ~Proverb
The lover is a monotheist who knows that other people worship different gods but cannot himself imagine that there could be other gods. ~Theodor Reik, Of Love and Lust, 1957
Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit. ~Peter Ustinov
Hate leaves ugly scars, love leaves beautiful ones. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
~William Shakespeare, Mid-Summer Night's Dream, 1595
The art of love... is largely the art of persistence. ~Albert Ellis
Love one another and you will be happy. It's as simple and as difficult as that. ~Michael Leunig
Who would give a law to lovers? Love is unto itself a higher law. ~Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy, A.D. 524
Who, being loved, is poor? ~Oscar Wilde
Love must be as much a light, as it is a flame. ~Henry David Thoreau
To find someone who will love you for no reason, and to shower that person with reasons, that is the ultimate happiness. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
A baby is born with a need to be loved and never outgrows it. ~Frank A. Clark
Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own. ~Robert Heinlein
The hours I spend with you I look upon as sort of a perfumed garden, a dim twilight, and a fountain singing to it. You and you alone make me feel that I am alive. Other men it is said have seen angels, but I have seen thee and thou art enough. ~George Moore
If I love you, what business is it of yours? ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Absence diminishes small loves and increases great ones, as the wind blows out the candle and fans the bonfire. ~François VI de la Rochefoucault
My debt to you, Belovèd,
Is one I cannot pay
In any coin of any realm
On any reckoning day.
~Jessie B. Rittenhouse
We choose those we like; with those we love, we have no say in the matter. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
The ultimate test of a relationship is to disagree but to hold hands. ~Quoted by Alexandra Penney in Self
When a man is in love or in debt, someone else has the advantage. ~Bill Balance
Anyone can be passionate, but it takes real lovers to be silly. ~Rose Franken
Will you love me in December as you do in May,
Will you love me in the good old fashioned way?
When my hair has all turned gray,
Will you kiss me then and say,
That you love me in December as you do in May?
~James J. Walker
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