Life is a series of ever-changing moments of trials and joys, and sometimes Love is grand, and sometimes it is not. Sometimes it is not fun, but that does not make it any less important.
In fact, during the most difficult, and trying of times, to love, and to continue to love, is actually the most important thing you can, and have to, do.
That is you loving yourself, loving what someone does for you, but that is not you loving someone else.
The purpose of Love is itself: the act of loving, the art of loving, to learn to love more. To love better. To fail and try again, over and over and over, because that is the point.
The choice to love another does not only happen when you start dating, or when you move in together, or get engaged, or get married, or have a child.
And neither does it become perfect or easy or even easier at all after any of that. No, not on your life. You have to make a choice, every single day, to care about others, and to care about others more than you care about yourself.
It is not natural for us to love, especially in all our Darwinian survival-of-the-fittest-every-man-for-himself-kill-or-be-killed-predator-or-prey-dog-eat-dog-win-or-lose-zero-sum-game glory.
No, it is not our nature to love, but neither is it against our nature. It is above our nature: it is something we reach for, strive for. Because it is aspirational, inspirational. Because it is a noble ideal.
And it is not easy. To truly love another human being will likely be the most difficult, and rewarding, and difficult, thing you will ever have to do in your life.
It is an overcoming of yourself, in order to truly reach, and connect with, another. Because what is meaningful will not always make you happy, just as how feeling good is not always the same as feeling right.
Love is truly seeing, and caring, about another human being’s existence and welfare.
It is wanting to be there for someone, to support them and help them grow; to make a difference in someone’s life; to share in and care about someone else’s happiness and struggles other than your own. Even when it is hard. Even, and especially, when you do not really want to.
Because when everything in life is transient, Love becomes the only thing that endures. Indeed, it is the only thing that canendure life.
Because regardless of how successful you are, how well-traveled, well-educated, well-heeled, well-fed; regardless of all your accomplishments and accolades and accoutrements, a life without Love, without the Love of others, without loving others – this life, it will always feel empty.
For in the face of your inescapable mortality and certain death, everything that is trivial falls away, melts away, and all you are left with is: Love.
At the end of the day, at the end of it all, all you have is Love. To miss that, to not realize it and act on it, is to miss the fullness, the richness, the flesh of your entire existence.
To have never loved is simply to have never lived.
So live. Be vulnerable. Take chances. Take risks. Even when you are afraid. Especially then. Get hurt trying, because all that means is you are living, you are alive. Learn from your mistakes. Get better at loving.
Tell people how you feel, really feel, about them. Tell people you love them. Show people you love them. Love yourself. Let people love you. Care. And then, just when you think you can not anymore, care some more.
For life, and Love, is about reaching: reaching up, above ourselves, for our highest selves; reaching down, within, for strength and depth and meaning; and reaching out, outside of ourselves, to touch other people’s lives and allow their lives to touch and affect our own.
When you love, you sink into something that is larger than yourself, and become part of something greater, something that surpasses and encompasses your one, single, solitary blink of an existence.
To have done that, felt that, known that, even just for a second, to have lived a life well-loved, and to have loved well is to have a life well-lived.