There’s a subject that will never get old, and also probably never be particularly cool or in vogue either.

What interests me is the many different shapes and forms love entertains.

So much of our culture and society is constantly obsessed with romantic love. Boy meets Girl.

Boy meets Boy. Girl meets Vampire and Werewolf and can’t decide which she loves more, etc.

But what about all of the other kinds of love?

If they have not been celebrated by Hollywood and MTV does that make them less authentic? Less valuable?

What about the love between a mother and her children? What about the love between a mother and her grown up children?

There are brothers and sisters and father s and aunts and uncles and all manner of weird and convoluted family members who all love each other. There are friends who love each other more than their own families. Friends who become each other’s families. People who make sacrifices for each other. People who feel more joy when they bring joy to those people than to themselves. In a way that is even more noble, isn’t it? Because you must really, really love someone to get such satisfaction from their joy, when it doesn’t even bring you all of the benefits that come from pleasing a lover (or life partner, whatever)

I think that it is even more special, in a way,  than the regular kind of televised love.

I am so blessed that I have friends who love me and who I love with that same selfless desire to bring joy. People who I feel willingly bound to in my very soul, who are not lovers but they are right there, precious jewels in my very center.

But love doesn’t have to even stop at people you know. Love is an amazing thing. The more you feel it, the more you give it away, the more there is. You can share love with people you have never even met or spoken to. (And no, I don’t mean internet dating!)

I am sure that all pet lovers will agree that a being doesn’t even need to be human to be loved. It’s about the caring and the feeling that you put into it. The selflessness. The way that they love you back.

The hardest love for most of us is the love that we owe to ourselves. Most of us struggle with that one. We struggle to love ourselves. We are raised to believe that it is vanity, a sin, if you will, to be “selfish”. We are not supposed to approve of ourselves.  Well there is a thing.  We know that we should constantly be trying to better ourselves and be aware of our flaws, but now here is the new chicken soup guide to self-acceptance. What now? Well without loving yourself you cannot truly, deeply love anyone else.  That means the whole package.

Okay so you are flawed, we all are. We have to forgive ourselves of that. We have to give ourselves a break now and then. Ignore the extra few holiday kilograms. Admit our mistakes to ourselves and forgive ourselves for a past that can’t be changed.

We have somehow to find the balance between a power driven society and total self loathing. How can we love our selves when we are a part of such a flawed and evil system? How do we live with our selves?  Well I just try to remember that all of the people I love are a part of that too.

That gives me courage to keep trying. Courage not to run screaming from society like Alexander Supertramp. As long as we have the courage to love everything is going to be okay.


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