Love is rumored to be beautiful and euphoric. When we talk about it, people get misty eyed and nostalgic. I personally think of a Norman Rockwell picture with two little kids holding hands or perhaps a tender embrace by people standing in their farm clothes. The love I see in the world comes in different forms. I remember as a child being told other languages had several words for love. As I’ve grown up and life has been experienced, I see that as a necessity.
There is the friend I love. My family loves each other with different feelings and emotions. I can love my job or even my car. To describe the attachments and energy we put into love would be more than a set of encyclopedias could explain. Somehow we intuitively know these descriptions and types of love.
The commonality between the different types of love is that what we call the “heart” is always involved. To love something or someone takes an act of giving on our part. We feed the love for a situation or a person. I often wonder if people are in love with each or with the situation, but that is an entirely different topic.
Giving of ourselves requires a risk on our part. Sometimes the risk is small, other times it feels gargantuan. It makes me think of gambling. Will I win should I put myself out there? The risk is the broken heart.
I have gone through more than one broken heart. It is painful to repair your heart, but I know it can be done. Many people say the scars are left on your heart and that only time can heal. I like to believe in a total healing, without any scars or reminders. That being said, I still don’t want to get my heart broken.
That’s when a friend made a very poignant comment. He approached love with a Darwinian method. It’s the survival of the fittest and whoever is aggressive in their approach will find love in the end.
That initially sounded foreign to my ears and did not resonate with my soul. I did not totally dismiss the notion. I took it into my brain and let it marinate a little. After all, I was speaking with a man. His mind works different than mine. I just wanted to make love out to be more gentle than a hunt or something to acquire.
He was right to say that if you don’t go after it, you won’t find it. If you stay far away and try to protect yourself from heartbreak, your heart will never love. You can avoid the pain, but you will miss out on much more than you can imagine. It isn’t just about the feeling of love, but it’s the life that it brings that makes it so sought after. If love is a drug, the side effects are spectacular.
My mind moved next to recovery of a heart break. If your heart is broken or you are afraid of it being broken, how do you move on to the next step? The idea immediately shot into my mind. To heal the broken heart, you must love. Giving love will mend the heart.
It almost sounds counter intuitive. Give when you think there is nothing there? It is exactly in that moment of giving that your heart strings bind back together. The brokenness of love lost, situations ending, life changes…all that makes our heart sing…is mended when we start to love others.
Love is expressed many ways. I express love when I interact with my residents as a nurse. When I am kind to the teller at the bank, that is love. Living a life of love will ready your heart for the “big” love that the world searches after. The answer was so simple and obvious. I am a better me when I give love daily.
As life goes on, we all have secret chambers in our heart that need the light to shine in on. There are feelings and words from years past that we forgot we still kept with us. If we just love others, they will come out. The chains that used to bind will be broken without a lot of tedious emotional work on our part.
The act of kindness and building friendships is the beginning of a healthy heart. The answer to the question brought me joy.
I am going to hunt love. Not because I desperately seek it, but because I am a warrior. I will not be afraid of love or the possibility of a broken heart, when love is all around me. I can create love. There is no longer a risk, it is now a straight exchange. When I give, so shall I receive.