Hello, February —
You’re the month of “LOVE”.
Typically, we tend to celebrate that holiday with a lover, partner, husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, children, family, maybe even pets…perhaps.
We use this holiday as a bookmark to show the ones we love, just how much we love them.
How we celebrate this holiday varies from person to person.
The expectation of the holiday itself definitely has the potential of disappointing us — especially if we don’t feel we have anyone to celebrate it with.
“In those cases, I always tell people to love yourself and celebrate your very own fabulousness any way that you choose.”
But the holiday itself got me thinking — and you know what that means…
I started thinking about love in general.
Ya know, the word itself.
The one emotion, verb, devastatingly delightfully fickle feeling that we can’t seem to live with or without — ever.
But the one question I continue to have throughout my life is…
“Where does the love go when the person or thing is no longer there?”
We all know that hating someone doesn’t mean you don’t love them. It’s just the opposite side of the coin. Often it’s been said that the opposite of love is indifference, ambivalence — not feeling anything.
Here’s the thing. Once we love, I believe a chord is formed with that person that never really ever goes completely away.
Maybe the relationship didn’t work out, or maybe the person passed away, or maybe the person was so mean that we built a wall around that special feeling we once felt.
Nonetheless, that chord was formed, and while it might not be in current active mode…
It’s still there.
Like a virus.
My mother always told my sisters and me that the heart can love many people, partners, pets, objects, children — multiple times — throughout a lifetime.
Thank goodness, considering I’m the third child, of course.
Kinda would have been a pity if my mom had just stopped being able to love after child number one, right?
So where does the love go once a relationship has ended with someone you truly loved?
Do we put it in a box marked “Ex-loves”? Do we file it in the cabinet noted “Dormant”? Do we ignore it in order to allow other love to come in? Maybe we just learn to live with it, like a chronic backache, adding to who we really are.
I’m not sure.
What I do know is that on many occasions I’ve often been called a love hoarder by those who know me well.
“You know that show ‘Hoarders’ on A&E (not sure if it’s even still on) where people never get rid of anything? They live amongst all the things that they love so much but can’t seem to throw away.”
That’s me — only it’s love I never throw away.
I don’t get rid of that love just because it’s over or because the person is not presently in my life. The people I have loved, I tend to always love in some capacity — forever. Whether it was my first love, or my high school crush, or all the loves afterwards.
While the intensity and depth, circumstance and relationship changes, they remain in my memory, permanently tucked away, hidden in a very special place that is reserved just for them.
I think “past love” lives in all of us like badges of honor or highlights in our reel or special moments in our lifespan, landmarks throughout our journey, imprints in our lives, permanent recollections in our hard drive —
It was there and it mattered. But it doesn’t turn off like a lamp or a stove or any other electrical appliance.
You can’t erase the memory of a past love, but you can easily use it as a compass to gauge where you were at that time in your life. And as the emotions continue to fade, we are left with the recollection that really never goes away, but lends itself to adding to who we are today.
And that’s okay to honor what once existed.
Truth is, we never stop loving somebody — we just start loving somebody else.
So as February 14th approaches…
-To those that I love,
-Used to love,
-Continue to love,
-And have never stopped loving —
Happy Valentine’s Day.
Until Next Week,