It seems that at each stage in my life, love’s meaning changes. Today, for me, love is relationships. It is the building and nurturing of the relationships I have with the people in my life.
Love is relationships
What does love look like, though? For me, it is simple: I show up. I show up ready to listen, work, give, read a chapter of a book, or play a game. I don’t always have the right words or the perfect card and I may have forgotten the exact date, but I still show up, imperfections and all.
So often the shame of not doing something exactly right, or saying something the perfect way, keeps us from doing anything at all, and robs us of that precious moment where we could have shown love to another. Waiting a moment to show love soon turns in to waiting a day, the day turns into a week, the weeks, to months, and the months, to years. All of this time, wasted on waiting for the perfect moment to show love, can turn into regret.
Just keep it simple
Show up ready to listen, ask questions, and find out what is really going on in your loved one’s life. Simply show up. As a dear friend always tells me: “just keep it simple.” The simplest and smallest of gestures can show love in powerful ways.
All that I take with me is what I leave behind
My dear Granny – the most selfless person I know – always said, "All I take with me is what I leave behind." So, all that I take with me in my life is what I leave behind in the lives of my loved ones. For someone facing the challenges of serious or terminal illness, or a caregiver giving to those suffering from illness, please know that the best love you can give is to simply show up.