This is from the archives, because Sunday is for silence.
Acts of love are important to me. Saying “I love you” is important, too, but it’s not enough. You can say you love someone ’till the cows come home but it’s the acts of love that really communicate it.
I once dated this guy who said he loved me all the time, but he couldn’t be bothered to clean his room before I arrived at his house (and it was a long-ish trip to get there) or have cream or even food in the house for my visits. While I was initially very excited about my relationship with this guy, my excitement wore off after realizing that this guy knew how to say the words, but he didn’t know how to actually *do* it. Love, I mean. To him, love was a feeling he had and that’s where it ended.
Love can start as a feeling or a collection of feelings, but it’s my understanding that those fuzzy feelings are chemically induced. Our brains create those feelings within us, and as intense as they can be, they can fade as quickly as they come on. Once those chemicals are flushed from our systems by reality, that feeling has to be maintained. It has to be nurtured. Acts of love are the fuel for that feeling. Maintaining it requires effort.
The thing is, though, that when you really enjoy and appreciate someone, doing little things that communicate caring comes easily – at least it does for me.
This isn’t limited to romantic relationships, either. Friendships require the same maintenance – remembering birthdays, little ‘for no reason’ gifts, babysitting and bringing chicken soup when flu hits the household. These acts of love are how we grow all our love relationships from little seedlings of potential to mature oak-strong relationships.
This is on my mind today because I am really pretty good at acts of love. They come naturally to me, probably because I crave the kind of love that can be sustained beyond the chemical flush – the mature “I’ve seen you puke, I’ve wiped your nose, You fart in front of me and I still want to hang out with you” kind of love. I believe in that kind of love over the initial rush kind that, while it is a great ‘fire starter’, will die without kindling, tending, stoking…
I have that kind of love. It may not have a label or a configuration that other people would recognize, but it exists, and I believe in it. Whatever happens to the framework, the foundation of this mature, in the trenches kind of love exists, and that gives me a metric butt tonne of hope.