We think a lot, I think, as young people, about grappling the meaning of love, what it is, whether we've found it, who will show us the meaning of its true form. As we go through our youthful dating phases, we are all looking for that magic "true love". When I hadn't found S, I used to hear my happily married friends say to me, "when you find it, you just know." And every single time I heard it, I cringed.
YOU JUST KNOW? WHAT IN HELL IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN??
But you know what? They were right.
Now that I am one of those annoying "you just know" people, having found the man of my life, and on the cusp of honouring our commitment to each other in the form of marriage, I have been thinking a lot about our vows, about what love is exactly, about its most important aspects.
When you possess young love, love is beautiful, fun, carefree. The beautiful thing is that as we draw closer to our wedding and after 3 years of being together, we haven't lost any of that giggly, cuddly, playfulness. In addition to that though, I am starting to understand long term love. In addition to all the wonderful exuberant bits that rather delightfully don't dissipate, there are these deeper feelings that smoulder and burn long and deep, that come with responsibility and maturity, that have true care and selflessness built into it.
These are the parts of love, I guess, that are hard to summarise, and I am looking forward to feeling them even more acutely in our many many years ahead together. It's a truly amazing thing to grow within a relationship with someone, and is the major part of our relationship that I never want to lose.
I guess I've been trying to find a way to describe this meaning of love, not just the good stuff, but the stuff that makes us stronger even when things are difficult, or when we need to be supportive to each other. Life is hard, and marked with twists and turns for us to meander, and riddled with moments of pain. As we get older, more is going to happen. People die. Family members get sick. Friends have tragedies. Work gets more stressful. YOU get sick. Shit happens. And through these moments, you need your partner and you to be strong and hand holding even tighter. That's the love I'm talking about.
I'm extremely lucky to have been modelled that very love by my own parents (35 years together and counting!) and HIS parents (almost 50 years together). They have been through literally, several worlds together, whole eras, insurmountable difficulties and raised grown children with trials and tribulations of complex lives. And somehow, maintained that love.
Words are difficult to find though, to demonstrate these role models we have, and it took this Sufi poet's lines to take my breath away and encompass, rather perfectly, what this love means.
Oh yes it does. ENJOY.