By the dictionary it is a “a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person” or the “unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another”, but what is it really?
Many people throw the word around, and say to people they barely know “I love you”. But is that love? Is love what we feel for a flower, or a sunrise, or even our cat or dog? Do we love our baby as it is just born, when we have yet to experience the personality which defines the person they will become?
What then really defines love, beyond the dictionary definition? Is love that feeling of warmth inside when we are near or think about those who matter to us? Is love the way our eyes light up as we look a beautiful setting in nature, or see a picture of a friend, or are reminded of a treasured memory? Is love what we experience when we are shopping for someone and we find just the right thing that will bring a smile to their face when they receive it? Is love in a writer’s heart when they put down words in hope that they will touch the hearts of their readers? Is love in the heart of a singer as they stand on a stage and look down upon the audience seeing tears in their eyes?
I believe all those things and more are love. Love is what elevates us, and brings us joy as we interact with others and our environment. Love is what makes us better than we were, even if only for a moment. Love is what unites us, helps us remember we are part of something bigger and grander than we alone ever could be.
Love is the very definition of everything good we do, everything caring we think, everything dear to our hearts, everything that elevates our souls and brings us closer to all that is good.