“In the flush of love’s light, we dare be brave. And suddenly we see that love costs all we are, and will ever be. Yet it is only love which sets us free”.Maya Angelou
Where do I begin?
This strength is certainly a topic that needs no introduction. Many songs, poems and movies have been written about love. Love motivates people. Even as you are reading this the faces are formulating in the back of your mind. It is the most natural thing to do. It is not a choice. You cannot pinpoint the moment you decided to love someone, only the moment you realised that you did.
Tell you a story?
Two weeks ago, my focus on this strength would have been different. I would have told you about how my husband is the great love of my life. The first time I met him I suddenly knew what it was to love another person. I loved him so honestly that I did not care whether he loved me back. I would have been happy just to be in his friend zone. My love, however, was reciprocated, and that was the deepest blessing. Our children are the living embodiments of that love and they always will be loved unconditionally.
How long does it last?
But two weeks ago, my sister was still alive. Two weeks ago, I understood the theory behind this strength, but I did not entirely appreciate its power. Today I do, and it is a humbling experience. The death of my sister has forced me to re-evaluate all that I have taken for granted. I grew up in a very loving and close family. My childhood was practically idyllic. So, I could be forgiven for never having had to question love before. I adore my parents, and I am always confident in the notion they love me. The same goes for my sisters (of which I have three). Then my youngest sister dies and I am suddenly left with all these overwhelming feelings with no means of expressing them to her.
It is Eternal
We were always very close and often told each other that, but now in her death, I feel as if that it was not enough. It became something we said. It did not express the depth of what my feelings meant. Love is about valuing the significance of another person’s existence. This is important because when they die, they leave behind a hole that no one can fill. This is the true beauty of this strength. It forms a part of your body. It physically can not diminish. It can only grow or change.
Didn’t Newton or one of his genius friends have a similar law about energy? If I recall it was basically that energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be transferred or transformed. Well, the same goes for love.
Say it loud and proud
If I could have that one last conversation with my sister, that one last goodbye, I would have said: “you are beloved”. I would have said, you change how I see the world and for that I am grateful. Your presence and vibrance gave me the courage and security to ask you, to tell you or even share with you my vulnerabilities. I am never alone because you comfort me even when you are far away. I cherish every characteristic that makes you you, even the parts of you that drive me nuts. Circumstances change, we grow, we experience, but the one thing that remains constant is that my love for you is unconditional and absolute. I honour you in everything I do without even thinking about it.
A Lesson learnt
That is what I have learnt about love. I wish I had known this two weeks ago, but I did not. I spoke to her a few hours before she died not understanding that I would never speak to her again, and as we ended off our call I said, “I love you” and now that will have to suffice.
I will not, however, miss the opportunity to tell those who are alive now what their presence means to me. My parents, my family, my friends and you, my dear reader. You may or may not be a stranger to me, but I value you. Your invisible presence inspires me. I cherish your patience that I may share my thoughts with you. Similarly, I look forward to reading your respected feedback.
Now it is up to you
It is 1 am right now. I am exhausted but thrilled to share my experience of love with you. In my posts I may make suggestions, I may invite you to do things, but tonight I will beg you, do not take love for granted. Love yourself for all you are worth and for all your flaws. Love those around you, because they are lovable. Love humanity, because every soul out there just wants to be loved.
Tenderness takes so much less energy than hate, and it is far more rewarding. It is something we give freely without expectation or disappointment. Always speak from a place of love. At all times, listen from a place of love.
Finally, in all that you do, whether mundane or profound, do it with love. ‘Oh, Bear!’ said Christopher Robin. ‘How I do love you!’ ‘So do I,’ said Pooh’ (Milne, 2006, p. 64). Go with love…. because, once it is all gone, love remains. Goodnight.