What is love? If you ask my wife she will tell you that love is not a feeling or something tangible, but that love is a verb or an act. To me love means acceptance without conditions or judgment. Obviously there are various types of love, but they all boil down to that basic principle. There is no but when it comes to love. For instance friends we had who were as close as family, but then we sustained an injury or long term illness and into the wind they vanished. I believe that if you truly love someone then you will always wish the best for them even if situations change and you go your separate ways.
People who serve in the military are a family. It’s only natural that when you spend more than a year away from your friends and loved ones that you find comfort in those who surround you constantly. How often do you see or hear stories of the family of a fallen brother being taken care of by their brothers and sisters in arms? That to me is the perfect example of love and what it should be.
Love is a choice. They say you can’t help who you love, but is that necessarily true? You are making a conscious effort to spend time with that person. You make a conscious decision to say that I don’t want to keep looking anymore. I found what I want. Immediate physical attraction is not a choice. That is a response, but love is not a natural response to looking at somebody’s physical characteristics. Love is absolutely a choice because it is a commitment, otherwise nearly half of all marriages would not end in divorce. At some point it became acceptable to say that I don’t want to do this anymore. You did not fall out of love with a person. You stopped making an effort to keep the relationship alive. All relationships take work, but especially a marriage.
My wife fell extremely ill months after we got married. She told me that she would understand and support my decision to leave our family if that was what I needed to do for my own mental health. I think that single comment, although well intended, was more damaging to our marriage than her sudden onset of being seriously sick. I was 32 at the time and can say without a doubt that I had never been in love before meeting my wife and daughter. I was 27 when we met and 31 when we had gotten married. I was a certified confirmed bachelor for life until I saw her face. I had not dated anyone since my injury nor did want to date. I was never really the dating type to begin with as I was pretty much a whore. There is no point in lying or trying to deny it. My life was instantly changed by the presence of the beautiful woman and the cutest kid i had ever seen. I wanted to know them. I took every opportunity to spend time with them. But I never planned on being with her. What woman who could have anyone was going to pick the guy in the wheelchair with more problem than pennies in my bank account. This one did, because love doesn’t have conditions or judgements. How could she possibly think that the thought had ever entered my mind? I understood her concern for me, but I love her. There was no choice to be made. I made it when I slipped that ring onto her finger.
Any relationship without love is not worth keeping. I don’t care if it’s a spouse, a friend, a parent, a coworker, or a sibling. Love is a verb. It’s a conscious effort to show another person that you care for them. You can show love to a perfect stranger with acts of kindness. Love does not belong to romantic gestures. You should hopefully one day love your partner or it’s time to find a new one. Love is kindness and does not have strings attached. Love is donating your time or money to a worthy cause. Love is seeing a friend in need and asking what you can do to help them. Love is listening and actually hearing what is said instead of finding a rebuttal. Love is expressed through many actions, but the actions need to come from you. In the times that we are living in now nothing is needed more than acts of love. Love does not see a disability, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Love is love, it causes no harm, and it doesn’t cost anything to give.