Love is such a strange not quite definable emotion. We all have our ideas of what it feels like or what it looks like or at the very least we think we can identify when it’s absent. Some of us have rules or guidelines like, “If it hurts, it’s not love.” Let us not forget the host of memes that tell you what kind of man or woman you should think is worth giving your love to and of course those who are not.
So, how do you love? Do you know what traits you typically show your love through? I mean we spend so much time identifying someone else’s love, can we identify the ways in which we portray love?
The question came to me during a conversation with a family member who is also one of my closest friends. She talked about how both her and her husband had put on a little weight recently, although it had been mentioned before that they were both trying to take a few pounds off. I pointed out that I realized she loves though food. This woman is an excellent cook. You will smack your grandmother on the daily for any one of her dishes. (Please don’t smack your grandmother.) She loves to cook and even more so loves to know that those she loves are well fed. So before you fully clearly cleared your plate and processed how your tummy feels, she’s offering you more. The food be so doggone good that you say yes before you can calculate how much you’ve already eaten. It occurred to me that my husband loves the same way. When his sister came over for her birthday he decided to barbecue. It seemed like every hour he was throwing something else on the grill. At 2AM he was grilling shrimp all in the name of his sister’s birthday. We had already grilled and eaten steak, chicken, asparagus, hot dogs, burgers, and fish. That was all in addition to rice and the pan of macaroni and cheese I made. I attribute that showing of love to his mom. It’s actually the way I knew she loved me. My mother-in-law wasn’t an overly emotional being and she didn’t speak of her love often. But for the few months I lived with her she’d serve me a full plate for dinner every single night when I came home from work. Soon as I changed my clothes she’d be approaching with a full southern style dinner and timed it perfectly to collect my plate.
So how do I love? I think I love with information. I always want the ones I love to know things pertaining to me and my family well before anyone else does. Things like birth announcements get shared in a hierarchy. I also love by adopting burdens. If I feel you have much on your plate I’m looking to take on tasks to lessen your burdens. Sometimes it’s at the expense of my own burdens but it’s what I have to give. One of my parents loves by lessening your burdens too. I think she is who I learned it from. Of all the things to pass down, it can be a rather beautiful and curious thing to pass down the way we love.
And how is it that you love?