Every beauty which is seen here by persons of perception resembles more than anything else that celestial source from which we all are come. Michelangelo
Of all the things you can do for another human being, don’t you agree that one of the greatest gifts you can give them is to see them? Not just look at them, although there is great merit in that (Honestly. The outfit isn’t going to compliment itself, fellas). No, seeing someone has less to do with outward appearances and more of what you see behind their eyes, in their hearts… perhaps even a glimpse of their very souls.
There are those who can glance at someone, find the package pleasing and consider themselves infatuated. There is an awful lot of stock put into what they see, but the grownups know that’s simply a fluffy, temporal kind love. Lots of folks think they’ve found love when all the bells and whistles go off in their head because some sort of physical affection is returned, lovely to be sure, but equally temporary. It’s not that I’m against romance. On the contrary, I think it is great (and while we’re on the subject -- is it too much to ask to bring the love letter back into fashion?), but there is so much more to love than that.
While I’m all for the paths that lead people to stand under the flashing neon L-O-V-E sign (because the world can be a pretty cranky place), the definition of the darn thing is difficult to pin down. Or, pen down, for that matter.
As the sands slip through my hourglass, I find I may have a better bead on it than I did decades ago. You see, love has become such a multifaceted thing to me over the years. I used to compartmentalize the concept into tidy boxes labeled Family, Friends, Sweethearts, Pets and Misc. (I apologize now to those still in Miscellaneous pile. It was just too confusing to know where to appropriately file you and, to date, management is still undecided). I don’t compartmentalize anymore. The lines have blurred, so that not only are the labels hard to read, but the contents have been shaken and stirred to the point that it’s like a complicated bowl of Bridge Mix with the sweet and bittersweet all thrown together, in a most delightful and complicated way.
If I were pressed to define love (not that I am) I would have to say that it very well might be when there is a connection between Family, Friends, Sweethearts, even Pets and Miscellaneous (and some not so tidy to place in their own compartment) where a person feels as though they have been seen. Seen how? Perhaps a moment of recognition or listening motivated by empathy, sympathy and a sense of a desire to share the experience/story/emotions of another person. Then again, sometimes the simple validation that you exist is enough to make you feel loved. Love comes in all shapes, sizes and hues – and sometimes it’s the “drops in a bucket, that eventually fills” that is enough to fill a heart and make someone feel loved.
The next time you walk down a crowded street or make your way through a building filled with people, don’t be so quick to look away if someone glances your way. Instead, smile and watch their look of surprise -- often accompanied by a double-take or a quick glance behind to see if someone else is the true recipient of your recognition. You may find that the smile is returned with such genuine appreciation that your day is better because of it. And isn’t that what love is all about?