In part 1 of the definition of LOVE I cut and pasted the wikipedia definition of love as a jumping off point. One thing you need to know about wordaholics and bibliophiles (two groups of which I count myself a member) is that we are pretty picky about our dictionaries and where a definition originates. Wikipedia is a pretty lame source, although I was impressed with the breadth of the definition. The gold standard for English language users is the Oxford English Dictionary or the OED as it is called. (I once quoted a definition from a “lesser” dictionary to a fellow graduate student and received a virtual tongue lashing that taught me the intended lesson very quickly!)
Unfortunately, I don’t have access to the OED online ($295/year subscription) or the time to head to a nearby library ..so wikipedia it will have to be for now, but just know that I know that wikipedia is a lame source. OKAY? okay.
Back to the task at hand: LOVE. We think we know what love is all about. I personally tend to dwell on the positive, profoundly giddy and decadently devoted side of things but today my thoughts fall to the darker side of love: the serious and often painful side of love. If love is a coin and one side is warm, comfortable and full of unimaginable joy, then the other side is cold, stark and clinging tenuously to those our hearts embrace. Love opens the ugly potential for pain and loss; if we didn’t love then there would be nothing to lose! There would be nothing to pine for and no one to ache to hold close and protect from the pain of the world. We know this….from our experiences… but we don’t want to think about it. We don’t want to spend any time on that side of the coin. Flip it over! we scream when the dark side turns our direction.
To love is to actively understand both sides of the coin. Consider your partner in life, your family, your friends, your stuff, your pets. Love is not easy or free of cost. It costs us everything always….whether in the good times or the bad….