Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What is a definition of Love?

Love? Infatuation? Fascination? Crush? Passion? What are these?

One definition I share with a number of girl friends is if you truly love another you are willing to share and accept his/her worries and problems alongside all the joy, strength, potential, and more that he/she promises. If it is truly love, you can't help but want to help, and you don't dread being drawn in, you just act.

However, infatuation or fascination is more a sense of being drawn and held by another's physical beauty, sex, an ideal, even the wishful-thinking version of that person. In this dynamic, reality can be off-putting and disillusioning.

In general, we all come with both. Right? Virtues are balanced by weaknesses. Worry is balanced by joy. Light is balanced by dark. Can you accept my weaknesses? or will they send you fleeing? Humanity is by definition flawed, right?

As I remember so well a teacher saying to me, "If we were perfect, we would not and could not love. It is in our imperfections that love can nest."

Nevertheless, and of course, we each have our limits. However, if your limits are so well defined that they cannot be wriggled around or through, how can you grow?

As my dear friends and I agree, I am porous. My limits are minimally defined. I am about saying yes, being there, adapting to situations, coping for myself, my friends, my family, my guests. You missed a train? ok, I'll come get you. You need a place to sleep tonight? Well, I've a mattress I can put on my bedroom floor. Your child needs to be picked up Wednesday? I'll make room, there's always enough for another person at the table.

I think that in a solid relationship I give, you give, I receive, you receive, and we're both stronger for it. No? I try to adapt without judgement. The universe throws me a curve ball and I tense my abdominals, flex my arms, and catch it, more or less gracefully.

And, while awaiting its appearance, I will revel and flourish in the love of my friends, the support and encouragement of my family, and in my two marvelous boys who think I smell good.

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