Sandy's article got me thinking about what Love is and the many faces and moods it has.
Almost everyone can agree on what romantic love looks and feels like. It is the passionate and joyful. Romantic love is big on public displays of affection and long deep kisses.
Romantic Love is the basis for, and the result of Familial Love. In the best circumstances, your birth family gives you positive examples of Romantic Love, you find the right guy, and you start a family.
With a lot of hope, faithfulness and hard work, you give you plant the seeds of future love and life.
Familial Love is what one generation gives to another
The older generations look back at the trials and tribulations of their lives, and share the joys of their past with their future. Weddings, birthdays, funerals and holiday celebrations pass love from one generation to the next.
Familial Love is easy at the start. Babies need love and family to survive.
Loving those so new is easy. They are cute and cuddly. They can't talk or move very fast, so they make really good targets for extra hugs and kisses. An added bonus is, they love you just for changing their diaper or feeding them. That kind of gratitude will not last.
You don't get to pick your family. This is our first lesson in the faces of love.
Family comes in all sizes and shapes. They have different personalities and moods. You learn that loving peoples faults and special needs is not always easy.
Mostly, a loving family should teach you that laughter is an essential part of love. If you can't laugh at yourself, your family will laugh at you anyway.
Family also teaches you that loving is giving.
It starts with the love that your parents give you. If you show kids that there is enough love to share and to go around, they learn how to give, even if it seems that the jobs are almost as big as they are.
Giving is sharing. This is a harder lesson to teach, and to practice. The urge to be selfish is as basic as the urge to eat or drink, and should be given in to in moderation. Moms should remember that it is okay to be a little selfish for the good of the family.
Family teaches us forgiveness. Usually this lesson comes on the heels of a lesson in selfishness. Too much selfishness can isolate you and make you bitter.
Forgiveness is better taught as example. It is easy to hold on to anger and fear. It is always better to forgive and love, than to hold on to fear.
Community love is also important. It really does take a village to raise a child.
Time and finances are as important to family life as love, so parents can't always be there for kids. Mentors, neighbors, and friends who care are useful teachers for busy parents. Living in fear can cut the people who might help you the most, out of your life. Never refuse a helping hand.
The burdens of parenthood can be overwhelming. Kids don't realize that they are hurtful. Part of loving is knowing when to keep your mouth shut. This is in in the small print, so read the contract carefully.
We are told that loving is not hurting others.
The story goes that Timmy, when he was an infant, liked to bite. His parents didn't know what to do about this. One day, mom told Sister Sue, "He's just a baby, he doesn't understand that it hurt when he bites you".
A few minutes later, Timmy was screaming in pain. when mom came in the room, Sue was sitting quietly next to him. "What happened?" mom asked. Sue calmly lifted Timmy's tooth -marked finger and declared," Now he knows biting hurts." There are always exception to every rule.
Of course, it is never good to hurt someone out of anger or frustration.
The best kind of love sneaks up on you. It happens in the quiestest moments when you think no one else is watching.
Gentleness and kindness are the best forms of love. Small acts of kindness can lead to some of the best and most loving relationships in your life.
It is important to remember that sometimes when a person is at the most unlovable, (teenagers and adults) they are really just looking for someone to snuggle them and show them unconditional love.
. Love leads the most unexpected things. You never know when your nemesis might be the one to bail you out of a tough situation.
Love makes for strange relationships. Love is complicated and yet very simple. You give it away, and it comes back to you when it is most important.
Love is small gestures of friendship, grand moments of intense peace or joy. Love is both giving and being able to receive with grace. Love is dignified and juvenile.
Love is a razor's edge. Real love is dangerous and can cut you to the bone. It can also help cut away the rotten, leaving room for healing and health.
In the end, John Lennon was right. Love IS all you need. Love makes life bearable. Love is life it's self.
Love is open ended, and all encompassing. Love is liberal.
I've heard it said that in the end, the love you give, is equal to the love you get.
When in doubt, choose love.