Ingredients to Create a Blissful Life #6: Love

Well, here we are already at the 6th post of the year. Can you believe how fast time flies? Have you been playing with these ingredients? What have you tried?

As I write this, I’m sitting in a suite in Collingwood with my husband on a much needed mini-retreat. We’ve seen some sights, done a few activities, but mostly rested. Obviously, there’s been some work as the quiet while Dave sleeps in has created a lovely space for me to work on planning out some of my projects. LOL You know what they say, when you’re doing something you love, you’re not working. And that leads me to this week’s word…

Your week 6 Ingredient to Create a Blissful Life is: Love

Yes, I chose this week’s word to coincide with the day of the year that many think is synonymous with love, Valentine’s Day. This week also holds special meaning for me as this is the week, 24 years ago, when I met my husband. What have I learned about love? That it goes far deeper and becomes much more potent after the romance fades, so while Valentine’s Day may symbolize something important and certainly creates tremendous spending on chocolates, jewellery, and greeting cards, I can’t say it holds much meaning for me anymore.

You probably have your own definition of love and what it means to you. Love in my world is my husband setting his alarm and waking up every 4 hours to give me my pain medication after surgery. It means shared adventures and stories that make you laugh. Shared tears and grief at the losses you’ve faced together. It means acceptance and forgiveness and being able to count on someone. It means honouring and respecting my partner and being honoured and respected in return.

Having said all of that, there are really several different types of love aren’t there? There’s the love of a romantic partner, the love between parent and child, the love of dear friends, and so on and so on… But as I sit here I’m realizing that although each of these relationships has very different dynamics, and the “flavour” of love may be different, the ingredients that create the love are really largely the same. Interesting. My best relationships are characterized by shared laughter and tears, respect, honour, and a genuine concern for one another regardless of what role that person plays in my world. And gratitude for them. Tremendous gratitude.

I used to think that love was about doing. It was about making sure my family were clean and fed and that I provided everything they needed. It was about running to the aid of someone at a moment’s notice and doing things I may not want to out of their need and my sense of obligation.

What I’ve learned now though is that definition of love is missing a key component. In all of that busy-ness and taking care of everyone else, where was I? Who was honouring and caring for me? Not me and not anyone else. Love isn’t really a one-way street is it? Except in the case of caring for very small children, it needs to be reciprocal or it just doesn’t work and when it doesn’t work, it really serves no one.

So what could change in the world if love were defined by having gratitude and care for each other and had nothing to do with right or wrong? Can you imagine? Would things change in your world? If so, are you willing to do your part to treat your loved ones including yourself with the care and respect you all deserve?

What do you choose?

Leave a Reply