Author and creativity expert, Julia Cameron, said,
The face of love is variable. I am able to love without demanding that my relationships assume the structures and forms I might choose for them. My love is fluid, flexible, committed, creative. My love allows people and events to unfold as they need. My love is not controlling. It does not dictate or demand. My love allows those I love the freedom to assume the forms most true to them. I release all those I love from my preconceptions of their path. I allow them the dignity of self-definition while I offer them a constant love that is every variable in shape.
Love has many manifestations, and it’s always evolving and growing. The ways you express love change and the places where you find love also grow and expand. Photographer Rick Ruggles has photographed thousands of love hearts that he found in natural settings, whether in a puddle, a cloud or a piece of rusty metal. In our home, we have a beautiful Ruggles poster above our kitchen table with the words “Love is where you find it.” It’s a constant reminder to find love wherever you are. If you build a world of inner love, you are always in love’s company. We hoped to teach this to our kids. As it turned out, they already knew.
One day one of our kids was feeling a little hard done by, having a mini tantrum and blurted out, “Love is NOT where you find it.” It was perfect. We had to hold back our giggles. But she was right. This was another manifestation of love, authentic love, honest expression.
Whenever I see random heart shapes now I think of the wisdom of my kids, the truth of authentic love. Instead of getting the giggles, I get the ruggles, the reminder that love is real and everywhere and always changing shape.
As you can imagine this was no laughing matter to my daughter. It was a raw expression of being misunderstood and after saying the words, she composed herself quickly. Within minutes she was skipping around the house. All was forgiven. She did not get her way, but learnt that she could get over disappointment and move on. She had learnt another side of love, and so had I. Just as love heart shapes can be found in the most natural and basic materials, so love is found in the most fundamental, the rawest, of human emotions- including despair, confusion and disappointment.
Sometimes loving someone will include helping them get what they want. Sometimes love will involve helping someone live with not getting what they want and being okay with that. Sometimes love is gentle and patient, and sometimes love takes initiative and surprises expectations.
Love has many faces, sights and sounds. All of them are beautifully wise and expressive.