Love is not a destination; love is a journey.
Love is a journey of self-awareness and growth. It reveals who we are, little by little, as we walk through this life. We love differently, and often more completely, as we age.
As children, we love our parents without knowledge. The love just is. It exists initially out of necessity because these are the people who look after our every need, but it grows every year that follows out of choice.
We also love our friends, regardless of skin colour, family status or any other thing that adults often use to segregate others from their group. This is because we haven’t been introduced to the prejudice and bias of the adult world. We just love and have fun together. Why? Well, because love is our natural state and the one thing we are all called to do in this world. As children, we know this instinctively.
As we start to age, the forming of cliques settles in. I, myself, am not one for cliques. They ultimately end of up leaving someone feeling left out and unloved. It was one of the reasons I didn’t enjoy high school as much as I might have. I can meld into any group, just being myself usually, but I do not desire to integrate into groups that put others down or put themselves above other people. My people know me and love me for who I am, and I, in return, love them freely and fully.
Some people have wondered why I have been writing love quotes in January and not waiting until February. It is simple. Love is an everyday thing, not a once-in-a-year, one-day-only thing. As much as I love the romance of Valentine’s Day, you can get that, and should, throughout the entire year. Unfortunately, for many who are single, it is just another clique, promoted by companies selling goods that makes others feel unloved, unwanted, or lonely.
The older I get, the more I come to understand what it means to love one another. Love is without condition or judgement. If someone is rude to me, I try and chalk it up to a bad day and forgive them. This is an act of love; forgiving someone who wronged you when they aren’t aware or don’t care what you do.
I still have my moments, but they are becoming fewer and farther in between. The thought to speak back in anger, scold, or point out their rudeness still flutters across my thoughts. It is just silenced by a mantra that says, ‘You don’t know what they are going through. Forgive them’. I still have work to do in this area. Hence, it is a journey.
As a writer, I have the advantage of sitting back and watching others. People often give me my best material. I love to see people who shine brightly. They don’t always have it easy, but there is joy in living and no judgement of others to be found. They don’t blame or strikeout. Rather, they care and express love for others.
Likewise, the best and strongest of relationships aren’t without issues, but the couples grow together and work to overcome their hurdles. There is no judgement, no trying to force their thoughts and ideas on each other, just a sharing. The couples accept each other and work only to please one another. They work on their own personal growth and support each other in their journeys through difficult and good times. The two spend time together and apart, but most importantly, they love each other without condition or judgement.
The most challenging form of love, I believe, is the ask to love our enemy. I am still working on this at times. I have come to forgive, which releases me from the emotional trauma that goes with the wrongdoing, but the loving part is more challenging. I can do it when it comes to family and friends, it is the rest of the folks I struggle with.
What I’ve started to do is pray for them. I pray that whatever hurts they carry which cause them to bring others pain is healed. I also pray to find a way to love them. Maybe in the praying, I love them somehow, I am not sure. I am still on my journey, figuring it out like everyone else.
All I can say is that I’ve learned that love is a continual growth process. When we embrace this and become aware of it, we try to love more openly and freely, and we are less judgemental.
As you go through your day, try and look at everyone you meet through the eyes of love. You will find that you forgive others more quickly and are more patient than you may have been before. With love, anything is possible.
Never forget that love is not a destination; it is a journey.
Free inspirational or motivational posts can be found on the inspirational page of Leslie’s website.