I’m not an expert on love, but I will tell you I have experienced many moments in my life that can only be described as being fueled by another person by the purest form of love that can possibly exist in their hearts for me. If you will humor me, I am going to use that as a basis to tell you a little about what I think love is.
Love is when my big brother started working at 15 years old, sacrificing his own teenage years to earn enough money and provide me, his baby sister, all of the material things that my little heart longed for because he couldn’t stand seeing me not get the toys I wanted because of an economic disparity.
Love is when my non-English speaking mother, who grew up in rural India, left everyone and the country she loved behind to get on an airplane for the first time with her three young children, bracing herself for the long journey ahead because she knew if she could just get us to our destination, we would have a chance at a better life than her own.
Love is when my best friend, who I was having a coffee with on an ordinary Tuesday night, dropped everything without even being asked to drive me straight to the hospital several hours away when I got a phone call to tell me that the person I loved the most in this world, my mother, was unexpectedly dying.
Then there’s him. What can I say about him that will do him any justice? Love is when he grabbed my hand and prayed for me when I temporarily lost my faith when my mother died, and he did it every single night until I could do it on my own again.
You see, you have to harness all the different kinds of love you’ve received in your life to know that you are lovable enough to walk away from anything that isn’t true. You have to value yourself based on the investments of love others have made in you all along. You don’t have to fall for the theatrics of false love when you already have the real stuff penetrating your life with the power of a thousand suns. Your parents, your siblings, your friends, and everyone else who has ever loved you wants to see you only accept the love that you truly deserve. Those people are the real, diehard ideals of love in your life, not the romantic movies or the curated coupledom you see on social media.
I’ve always had the good fortune of being a woman who has always been deeply loved by everyone in my life. I’ve been loved through my sorrows, my glories, and every mundane day in between. So what can a woman like me tell you about love? I can tell you that love is sacrificial, quiet and consistent. Love has to never be chased, never be begged for, and it should never make you feel lesser than. Love should be effortless and meet you without hesitation exactly where you meet it.
I can tell you to wait. Just wait for this kind of love to find you, because love, my darling, ain’t that Casanova shit.