love (:v) /ləv/ – the act of learning to understand yours and something else’s oneness by striving to accept differences of expression.
What is love? A quick search of the interwebs will get you more definitions than you can imagine, but you knew that already. If we understand that everyone on the Internet has their own idea of love, then why is it so difficult to grasp the idea in terms of our own relationships? The short answer is that love is relative. Because of this we see love filtered through our own experiences and belief systems. We see love as our own centralized definition and don’t often acknowledge that everyone else does the same.
I’m being honest with myself; I’m not the best at recognizing others’ love at all. I often impose my own ideas about love onto others and interpret their love as something else entirely.
For example, I love to cook. I mean cook with a capital ‘C’. Seriously. As someone who likes to cook, I love to try different flavors and dishes of varying complexities. My boyfriend, Kendall, however, actually hates cooking. If he does cook, it’ll be something super simple and probably take no more than 15 minutes. Now, I don’t claim to be the best cook out there, but I’m confident in my cooking so I feel like Kendall should be also. That’s not always the case. There are days where I’m just not on my game and Kendall doesn’t hesitate to let me know. Some days I’m open to the criticism, but most days I just want to hear how good it is even if he’s lying to me. This is because, to me, cooking for someone is an act of love. It’s like bearing my soul on a plate and having you say it’s too salty or tastes ordinary.
So the question becomes, how do you overcome that misunderstanding? It’s simple, you don’t. Not that you don’t begin to understand each other, but you’ll always have differences of opinion or misunderstandings of love. I had to realize that Kendall’s way of showing love is to tell the truth, even an inconvenient one. That slight nudging caused me to reevaluate what lies I was telling myself and pushed me to be more honest. It’s still a learning curve, but I’ve begun to welcome Kendall’s opinion and have adjusted my cooking style to fit both of our needs. In the end, it’s all about understanding. Love is understanding.
I challenge you to go out into the world and be love. If we’ve ever needed anything more, it’s love. Understand that love is relative and your idea of love may not be someone else’s. Learn to appreciate loves’ fluidity and strive to grow in your understanding of one another. Be the love you wish to receive.