“Love does not care to define and is never in a hurry to do so.” -Charles Du Bos
Love is a tricky thing because it’s something we both give and receive—and yet it’s so much easier to dwell on the love we’re not getting than to recognize the love we’re not giving.
I used to have a simultaneously broad and narrow definition for love. Broad, because it encompassed a vast number of idealistic guidelines, and narrow because these limiting rules quickly labeled most relationships loveless.
If someone didn’t seem to offer me their unconditional understanding, or if they appeared to judge me, or if they somehow fell short of my rigid expectations, I assumed I was getting the short end of the love stick.
That wasn’t love, I’d reason. Love is patient, love is kind, and so on.
But just how loving is it to view people through this kind of microscope, dissecting their every action and measuring them against some impossible ideal?
How can we expect people to love us how we want to be loved if we’re too busy judging them to extend that same courtesy?
I’ve written and published many posts that define and quantify love—what it looks like in actions and exactly how we can express it. To some extent, I think this is helpful because it reminds us how to act kindly, compassionately, and non-judgmentally.
It takes something abstract and it gives it form and function.
But maybe real love is recognizing that love is never perfect. That every day, we all teeter between love and fear, wanting to give, but sometimes being less than understanding and kind; wanting to receive, but sometimes being less than vulnerable and open.
I haven’t always given the people I love the benefit of the doubt—or the best of me. At times, I’ve been so busy looking for signs that someone doesn’t care that I made it nearly impossible to show them how much I do.
Today I choose to love less rigidly—to give, to take, and do both with less judgment. How will you love today?
Photo by mattieb