What Love Is Not, What It Is, and What It Feels Like

A Guest Post by Wordssetmefree

Reading the most recent post on your blog reminded me that love is often misinterpreted in our culture and many cultures.  Popular media and books have made love into some kind of a dark turmoil that must be endured for a reward at the end.  People may have different ideas of love.  This is MY understanding ….. I do not want to say this is the only and correct definition of love …. but let’s not forget that ‘love’ is a good word, a positive word.  It is a word like ‘light’ and ‘kindness’ and ‘hope’ and therefore it must evoke a good feeling.  It must feel RIGHT.  Here’s my poem on love.  I hope it helps all of us, those younger and discovering love for the first time, and those older and trying to find some clarity, find a path where ‘love’ is a good word and it feels ‘right’.

What Love Is Not, What It Is, and What It Feels Like

What Love Is Not

Love is not uncertainty

Wondering “Does he really love me?”

It’s not a reward

That one must try hard to earn

Not a compromise

That is gained by giving up

Parts of one’s self


Love is not turmoil

Full of tears and accusations

It is not a competition

That one must win through charm

Not a dark drama

Replete with doubt and betrayal


Love is not an escape

From our mundane existence

Or from our problems

Love is not a shield

From the reality of abuse


Love is not martyrdom

That one must sacrifice for

Not an ownership

Over another’s body and soul


Love is not a stormy night

Filled with the darkness of jealousy

Or the thunder of anger

It is a gentle rain

That quenches your thirst


Love is not a beautiful castle

With iron gates

Nor is it a comfortable home

That imprisons you

It is a journey that sets you free

Full of growth and discovery


What Makes Love Happen

Love begins with respect

Respect is only possible between equals

Love is thus friendship between equals

Friendship that grows to become commitment


Love needs strength and confidence

We must first be able to love ourselves

And respect ourselves

And be in control of our own lives

Before we can love someone else


What Love Feels Like

Romance is fun and welcome but ….

Love is felt even in the absence of romance

It is felt even without roses and champagne

It is felt over bagels and steaming coffee

It is felt while doing laundry together

While sitting next to each other and reading

It is felt in silent companionship

As much as it is felt in hearty laughter

It is felt in moments of pain

In the simple promise that you are not alone

It is felt in moments of confusion

In the relief when the other understands


What Love Is

Love is not sacrifice

Or giving up who you are

Love is ascertaining who you are

Celebrating who you are

And understanding who you are

Through the other’s perceptive eyes

And finding yourself

With the other’s strong heart

And setting yourself free

In the other’s gentle soul


Thank you IHM.



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Link shared by Gk from tears&dreams, with the message: “Felt like sharing the article with you. Its funny and sweet and talks about family in a way that would be hard to imagine for most Indians. I can’t think of anyone else who’d understand why I loved it.”

Can you think of two people who would love this story?


The Messy-Kitchen, Parking-Spot War

The day my daughter arrived home from her first year in college, her boyfriend moved in. They didn’t consult me.

One day I was happily living alone in my two-bedroom Seattle apartment, and the next I had two teenage roommates, one of whom I hardly knew. The boyfriend, who was still a high school senior, had been my daughter’s summer fling before she left for college last September.

With my last child gone, I thought I’d be terribly sad and lonely. And I was — for about 10 minutes. After I had spent a brief stint lying on her bed mourning her childhood, I did what my own mother had done: I gathered the stuff she had left behind and moved it to the basement storage unit.

Then I took over the office nook she had claimed (but hardly ever used) and made it my own.

I installed shelves and filled them with my reference books. I stocked the refrigerator and cupboards with gluten-free, low-fat food. I bought soap in scents that pleased me and shampoo that suited my hair type. I rearranged the furniture and cleaned the house from top to bottom.

With each pass of the vacuum, I found myself becoming cheerier. My husband had moved to our farm on Lopez Island in the San Juan Islands of Washington with our two dogs to pursue his dream of being a homesteader, changing our marriage into a long-distance arrangement with occasional weekend visits. I found myself, for the first time in 35 years, living alone in a perfectly tidy apartment. I loved it.


When I asked if the boyfriend might help out a little by doing dishes or taking out the compost, my daughter said, “He’s phobic about getting his hands dirty.”

“I’m sure that works well for him,” I replied.

Weeks passed as the lovebirds languished in my apartment. I’d leave for work at 10:30 a.m. and return at 7 p.m. to find them exactly where I had left them: sprawled on the couch watching reruns of “Monk.” The only way I could tell they had even moved was that the food I had bought for dinner was gone and the kitchen was a mess.

The boyfriend’s mother, upset that her 18-year-old son hardly came home anymore…

Please do read the entire story at – 

The Messy-Kitchen, Parking-Spot War

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