It’s easy to simply confess to someone ‘I love you. ‘Doing’ love is the hard bit.
For most practical purposes ‘to love’ is taken to mean ‘to enjoy’ another person and lets ourselves ‘be enjoyed’ by them. Even the Oxford dictionary agrees with this practical definition: a strong feeling that you have when you like somebody/something very much or a strong feeling of interest in or enjoyment of something. Love is seen as an animal instinct- like a mother’s love for a child or attraction to the opposite sex. Love is seen as a mutual exchange of pleasure. We say we give love or make love (depending on the context 😀). Love is seen as something that comes easily to us- naturally, as if it’s hard-wired into us by design. ‘Love is blind’, we say.
If life has taught me anything about love, it is this: Love comes naturally to us and yet it is not as easy to do as it seems.
To love another person means to accept another person together with their flaws, idiosyncrasies and conditions. To love is to walk on eggshells sometimes and at times, garland the same person with admiration and adoration. To love is to be with another through their periods of depression, mood swings, irritability, outbursts, protecting them through the phase. To love is to accommodate. To love is to forgive, at times, even if with a heavy heart. To love is to apologise and make amends when you’re wrong.
To love another person means to reveal your own insecurities to another person at the risk of being offended, hurt or disappointing. To love is to have uncomfortable conversations.
To love is to commit to another person’s well-being and for life. To love another person means to lend a helping hand. To love is to show strength and courage, that you never knew you had. To love is to invest time, money and attention to another when you can as well use them for your own enjoyment.
To love is to lend a shoulder to cry on when another needs it, pat and motivate them to grow. To love is to attend to the pain and suffering of another and provide comfort, even if that means spending sleepless nights or moving without rest. To love is to put the other person first.
To love is to participate in pastimes that may not fascinate you always, doing things, that are not on your priority list. To love is to make compromises where necessary, for the greater good of yourself and those you say you love. To love is to be the lubricant through the friction of another person’s life.
To love is to protect yourself from exploitation, abuse, disrespect and harm- even if it means letting go of those who you promised to love forever. To love is to experience loss, to grieve. To love is to have to move on when you clearly can’t. To love is to let go.
Don’t go easy on love. It is anything but blind. It has to be cultivated, with deliberate, conscious effort. To love is a privilege. It’s a celebration of the best in us.