And I am just over here gallivanting in the woods with my two dogs. It is funny how love takes up so much of our collective societal time. Disney taught all of us little princesses that we were in distress and needed a prince to come and save us. And princes, princes spent their lives looking for beautiful princesses to save.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for romantic love. I just don’t feel I need it. Maybe one day I will decide I want it . . . maybe. I have always been the independent type. My dad always let me help him, be it changing the oil or building a house. He made sure I knew how to fix a flat tire and drive stick shift. I was allowed to run wild in the safety of the woods, sometimes even carrying a gun. I was never told I needed a man, so I never believed I did. I am sure my parents thought, probably even hoped, I would find a nice man and settle down. Start a family. You know, with human babies. Instead, I am still running wild in the woods, a band of dogs by my side.
The thing about love is there are some many different forms. We tend to hyper-focus on romantic love and think our lives will magically be fulfilling once we find that perfect someone. But I’m not buying it. The ancient Greeks actually had several words for love.
Eros — the passionate, intense desire for something; often referred to as sexual desire
Philia — fondness or appreciation for the other
Agape — paternal love of God for man and of man for God; extended to include brotherly love for all humanity
Storage — Parent/child love; extended to family love
It is interesting to contemplate these different forms of love. Songs and romantic movies seem to focus on the mad passion of eros. Plato had a different theory about eros love. “The Platonic theory of eros is that ideal beauty, which is reflected in the particular images of beauty we find, becomes interchangeable across people and things, ideas, and art: to love is to love the Platonic form of beauty-not a particular individual, but the element they posses of true (Ideal) beauty.” (source: http://www.iep.utm.edu/love/). I personally think it is good to have a balance of love in your life, a little philia, agape, and storge mixed in there.
I cannot think of a time in my life where I have been surrounded by more love than currently surrounds me. When I wake-up, I look around me, and I am so happy. Halo is sprawled next to the bed and Siku is curled up on the pillows. My parents and I communicate almost every day if only to wish each other a good morning. My best friend and I stay in almost daily contact. I occasionally get the chance to video chat with my brother’s family in between visits. And my sister is among my favorite people to hangout with. I have several close colleagues that make going to work a joy. I am wrapped in love, and none of that love is romantic. I am very happily single and swaddled in a soft blanket of many other forms of love. So when you are feeling lonely, take a minute to look around you. I am willing to bet you are surrounded by more love than you realize.
My cup runneth over, and I hope yours does too.
“I sometimes think that people’s hearts are like deep wells. Nobody knows what’s at the bottom. All you can do is imagine by what comes floating to the surface every once in a while.” — Haruki Murakami