Somebody asked me the question “What is love? What does it mean to you?” the other day.  Now when that question is asked, you immediately think of all the stuff that is taught to you growing up.  What love is supposed to be, that happy fairytale ending with “happily ever after” written shortly after beginning a family.  But what is it really? Is it “finding that certain someone you can annoy for the rest of your life”? Is it loving someone so deeply and so amazingly that you would do absolutely anything for that person, no matter what it is? Or better yet, as my mom and dad have taught me, is it a decision you make every morning when you wake up, and every night when you go to sleep?  A conscious decision to undoubtedly love your significant other when the going gets rough and the clouds over you begin to turn black?

Love, to me, is having that feeling in your gut that you know if that person walked out of the room you would almost instantly miss them.  That kind of childish attachment you have to your mother when you’re little.  Love is doing anything and everything for the other person just to see a smile, the kind of smile that brightens up your world and brings sunshine into the room even when it is as black as midnight outside.  Love is going to the end of the world for that other person.  Love is being so mad at the other person you can’t even speak, then getting a hug from them that literally stops the world’s rotation and stops the movement of time so much so that you can’t help but to feel comforted by their embracing arms.

Now, I may not be an expert in this whole “Love” thing, but I don’t think you need to be in a forever long relationship that ends in “I Do” to understand what love really truly is.  You feel it from birth until death.  From the womb to the grave.  Love is everywhere around you.  Friends that go out of their way to pick you up when you’re having car troubles and family members that are there for you when you hit a speed bump in life.  Most people think love is only around when you’re in a relationship with someone, but if I’ve learned anything over the last few years of my life, it’s that love is all around.  Each and every friend you make and talk to has some sort of love for you.  After all, in the society we live in today the word is thrown around like it means nothing, but to someone on a bad day, it means the world.

What brought this on?  Me realizing I have some of the best friends in the world, the best family a person could imagine, and continue to meet new people every day that could potentially change the meaning of my life.  I’m 30,000 feet above the earth right now and know that as I fly to my destination, someone somewhere is thinking about me and is hoping I have a safe flight.  They may not have the same definition of love as I do, but in the long run, isn’t hoping I land safely just so you can text me and say hey, and hoping I return home safely so I can hang out with you one last time to have another laugh love?  I may not be able to reflect on my life and past relationships to tell you what love actually is, but I don’t think you need a successful girlfriend/boyfriend kind of relationship to understand this concept.

What is love?  Love is everywhere.  Love is grateful. Love is Kind. Love does not envy.  Love does not boast.  Love is in heaven.  Love is on earth.  Love comes from your parents, and your friends.  Love comes from every breath you make and every time you think of someone.  Love is absolute and never-ending.  Love cannot be broken.  Love is a promise and a connection.  Love is a decision (unconscious and conscious) that must be made daily.  Love is love and for anyone who reads this, I love you for who you are and what you have done in my life.  No matter how little you think you have done, or how great an influence you have been, I love you for everything you have done and will continue to do.  That is love to me… What is love to you?

– Eric Welter

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