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A piece from 'Love in Action'
A piece from 'Love in Action', this year’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. birthday celebration event.

What is LOVE? 

Jan 23, 2019

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Everyone has a unique definition of love. There are as many ways to understand it as there are living beings. Most humans cannot put it into words. Some people have thought about it before and can easily talk about love in depth. Some people have a quick answer, often a reaction to a vivid experience. Some people have nothing really to say about love. Many are scarred by memories of a bad relationship or a falling out with a close friend, though many others still believe in the positive power of love. 

I recently asked countless people their definition or interpretation of LOVE, mostly from the byways of Bodega and some from “Love in Action,” this year’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. birthday celebration event. I compiled the answers I found from the community and decided to keep them all anonymous. There are as follows:

“LOVE IS…

...unexplainable.” 

...unconditional.” 

...what you pay attention to.”

...something you have to share and give to everybody.”

...being kind to others and acknowledging their feelings as well as your own.”

...not that complicated - when you know, you know.”

...something you pick for yourself.” 

...beer, especially a strong IPA.” 

...something that bar patrons have a hard time expressing, because they feel the need to be in an inebriated state to get there.” 

...a tool you gain after learning from an experience.” 

...rarely instantaneous.” 

...suffering; if you can endure it, it’s good.” 

...not anything you can get over after you fall into it.” 

...based on attachments and is all in peoples’ heads.”

...connection and support.” 

...helping each other heal.”

...offering what you have up to others.”

...a domino and trickle effect.”

...an abundant energy flow.”

...nothing that you can stop once you start.” 

...feeling good by being driven to help others.” 

...something that just comes - you don’t have to think about it.”

...empathy and compassion in action.”

...should not be a have to, but a want to.” 

...fun - work that one should enjoy.” 

...meeting fear and hatred with tolerance.” 

...being sensitive to self esteem.” 

...passion and unity.”

...building a strong foundation.”

...treating everyone like a true cousin.” 

...acting as a good neighbor.”

...the heart and soul of music.”

...being thankful and showing gratitude.” 

...giving genuine compliments to anyone and everyone, including strangers.” 

...the innermost feelings of happiness and contentment.”

One fellow quoted Matt Groening of the Simpsons, saying, “Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come.” Amusing, but I prefer Mother Teresa’s definition, explaining that “Love is a fruit in season at all times and within reach of every hand.” Always encourage optimism. I invite each of you to explore your own thoughts on love and open up to more conversations around it. Does anything new come up for you? Feel free to email me with any ideas or revelations. 

So, love is and isn’t complicated and we all have our own perception of it and the true meaning of this touchy feely word. I know deep within that my key purpose in this life is to spread light and share love — as much as humanly possible, in all I do, everywhere I go. I truly believe that love is the most profound force in this world. It has the ability to bring ultimate fulfillment, understanding, peace, comfort, serenity, warmth and the sense of belonging. When it comes down to the fundamentals, it really does take a village. I am calling all of you reading this to love your community and mother earth like your own children, while not forgetting to love yourself. The human race is one big family. 

Bodega Byways by Eva Granahan

 

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