"Love is..."

This post was originally shared on February 15, 2013.

"Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant, it isn’t rude, it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints, it isn’t happy with injustice, but it is happy with the truth. Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things. Love never fails. Now faith, hope, and love remain—these three things—and the greatest of these is love." 1st Corinthians 4-13

With Valentine's Day behind us, I'd like to share some quality observations I've made recently. As I've spent 24 years moping around single on February 14th, I vowed that this would be different. I was sick of giving in to the "Single's Awareness Day" and pretending that I didn't care. Don't worry, I didn't stay home and cry in a puddle of Ben & Jerry's Half Baked. I decided to reevaluate my definition of LOVE. 

Throughout my life, but more frequently in this past year, I've referenced or heard the above passage from Paul's first letter to the Corinthians. Most recently, at a church service I attended at my home parish, the reading came into circulation. Instead of focusing on the romantic relationships most connect with this passage, the priest channeled our thought into our relationships with the people around us. Our families, friends, neighbors and those we meet in passing. I found it to embody exactly how I describe my relationship with LOVE. In every meeting we have, either with those we know or those we just meet, we should emote LOVE. LOVE for each other and, more importantly, LOVE for ourselves. 

It is so easy to get wrapped up in the business and busy-ness of the world that we forget that it's the relationships that really make the world go round. Now, hear me out. I'm not saying that we revert back to the '70's and go crazy hippie, but folks, we have to remember peace-love-happinessLOVE should really be at the center of what we do. 

I'd also like to address the ROMCOMS I LOVE soooo dearly. You name it, I've seen it. As much as I'd LOVE to believe that those lasting twists and turns and final kisses in the rain while Bradley Cooper's abs glisten while he whispers "I'll LOVE you forever, babe" exists in real life, it just doesn't.(BUT if it does, share! If not, I'm writing it now!) It builds our hopes and dreams up for a crazy fairy tale. LOVE is much deeper than that. Real LOVE is being married for 40 years, supporting a family, working together to provide a better life for the future, spending time with friends and family who truly know how to unconditionally LOVE. Yes, patience is sometimes trying, jealousy tries to creeps in, and life throws you unimaginable curveballs, but it's the LOVE that keeps MY FAMILY together. 

I used to spend Valentine's Day depressed that I couldn't find that "special someone". Over the past year, I've learned that real LOVE is way more impressive that any box of chocolates, teddy bear, or roses (plus, it's free!) It's sharing our true selves with the people around us. It's spending time getting to know someone new or chatting with an old friend. It's having hope in the future and faith that will bring us there. It's the patience in knowing that the right people come in and our of our lives for different reasons. It's in every breath we take and every moment we live. "Love actually is all around."