Are you in love? Do you feel loved by your family, your friends, your partner or your children? Few years ago, I was preparing my travel list when my son told me: “I won’t be joining you on summer vacation. I will stay home as I’ll be joining a soccer tournament. I asked dad and he’s okay with it.” His words were shocking for me. We have been spending the summer vacation together for fifteen years. We had our rituals and our playtime. I hadn’t had enough from him yet and I wasn’t ready for my son to detach from us so suddenly. Talking with my partner, he persuaded me to accept the matter as it was going to happen sooner or later and that it was a good chance for our son to grow and become more independent.
In the following days I spent time thinking of the matter, and how I loved my son so deeply. Then I was hit by a powerful thought that shifted my paradigm. Because I loved my son, my love should never suffocate him, my love should set him free. My love should make him happier and more fulfilled. Love was never about owning people. It was about watering and nurturing them.
With this thought, my understanding of love changed. I comprehended that to truly love someone we should:
1- Remember that we don’t own him.
2- Love him with his flaws and imperfections and allow him to be himself without wearing any masks. He’s a human being and human weren’t created to be perfect.
3- Give him space, without entrapping him under the slogan of love.
4- Listen to him, attentively and compassionately and get the meaning behind his words.
5- Pay attention to what he doesn’t say. Look him in the eyes, pay attention to his tone of voice and his body language. Feel him and feel for him.
6- Live his dreams and cheer him along his journey.
7- Offer help without waiting to be asked.
8- Tell him I love you. Love is a verb and a noun. It needs to be practiced through actions and words.
9- Discuss with him how he likes to be loved; check with him his love languages.
10- Say sorry when we upset him and remember not to annoy him the same way again.
11- Listen to him when he’s hurt and sooth his soul.
12- Celebrate his successes and stand beside him in sad events.
13- Feel happy seeing him happy.
14- Cherish his other relationships and encourage him to widen his circles of friends.
15- Remember that love should lift the ones we love and turn them into better versions of themselves.
What does love mean for you? You’re most welcomed to add your comments sharing your understanding of love.