Love. We all want to be loved. I believe this is the human condition. Love makes the world go ‘round!! Even as a single girl, Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday. Why? Because I’m in love with LOVE!! Yep, to be loved and to give love is the most phenomenal feeling in the world and I’m happy there is a day dedicated to celebrating this special feeling. I just spent the last seven days in Cancun, Mexico and while on vacation several displays of love made my heart jump with joy. These inspirational exchanges lifted my spirit!!
On our first day, a girl ran across the wading pool to her brother’s aid as another little boy splashed him in the face. She put her arm around her little brother, wiped the water out of his eyes, and consoled him as she walked him over to their parents. Later that night, I had a happy tear in my eye while watching a daddy carrying his small infant daughter as he sang in her ear. I couldn’t help but flash him a Cheshire cat grin to which he responded with a grateful smile.
The next afternoon I walked by a mother who was napping on her shaded lounge chair with her two toddlers sprawled all over her asleep as well. Awe!! Then there were the couples who were dancing closely under the moonlight without a care in the world as to who was watching. I caught myself thinking, “Oh, I can’t wait to have THAT right there!! Yes, a love that stops time, the world stands still, and the only thing left… is the love between us and we are not afraid to show it!!”
The following afternoon at lunch, I looked over to see a four generation extended family all gathered around a massive table. I could feel the love palpitating from their table which on second thought is probably what caused me to look over their way. While this family laughed and ate, I noticed they all doted on their grandmother who appeared to be the family matriarch. It was clear, this woman was respected, admired, and loved!
Later that night, my friend and I were sitting out by the pool at dusk listening to a live band when a grandfather walked by on his way to take his young granddaughter out to the beach for a stroll. I could tell from the happiness on his face that this precious wee one was the apple of his eye. Then I heard her mother yell, “Be careful she LOVES to eat sand!” Ha! He looked back with a “Don’t worry… I’ve got this… I raised YOU” smirk. Ha!
The next day, we ate at the Mexican restaurant in our all-inclusive resort. My friend ordered the table-side guacamole where the server arrives at your table with all the ingredients and makes it right there in front of you. Our server offered to show us how to make authentic Mexican guacamole. I jumped out of my seat for the chance to learn and ran over to her side, so she could walk me through the steps. As we were folding in all the ingredients she said, “And, the secret ingredient is love. It is always best to make the guacamole with love!” See, there that love thing is again!!
We made our way to Chichen Itsa for the day. It was fabulous to peruse the Mayan Ruins and learn the history of the land and people. What I loved seeing most of course… were more illustrations of love. The sun was beating down on us, the temperature was intense, and as people were taking pictures of the large, main pyramid, I looked over to see a husband holding his hat over his wife, so she could see her camera without a glare and get her perfect picture.
Then I glanced over to my left to see a woman getting a camera ready, run over to her guy, get all cuddled up together… just in time before the camera snapped their picture in front of the pyramid. As we walked around with our tour guide, I looked ahead and smiled at an elderly couple who were holding hands. On the three hour bus ride back to the resort, a man sitting across from me snuggled up to his sleepy girlfriend when she laid her head in this lap to take a nap.
Much of the love I witnessed was at the resort pool. As her family played in the water, a grandma cuddled with her tiny infant grandson. Next, a three generation group of men (grandpa, dad, and son) played tag in the pool. At one point, I heard shrill giggles and this same grandpa had his grandson on his back and was twirling around saying, “Hey. Wait. What is on me?? Get it off. Get it off!” Then he would twirl around the other way trying to shake the little guy loose. They were both giggling. Oh, the love!!! The next day as I lay on the ceramic lounge chair in the water, I witnessed a middle aged couple all hugged up against the pool wall. And, at about the same time, a teenage boy walked past me carrying his girlfriend around in the water.
Just as I thought I had witnessed all the love one vacation could hold, at the airport on our way home I saw a woman who was rubbing her teenage daughter’s forehead as she napped awaiting our plane to board. Based on all the acts of love I witnessed, I tend to think vacation magnifies love. Do we simply get so busy in our day to day lives that we forget to stop and show love, appreciation, and affection? Hmmmmm… More specifically, I wonder how many people forget to show love regularly unless it is a special occasion or holiday?!?!? Sure, I love Valentine’s Day, but I do not want to wait until ONE particular day to share love!!!
This week-long love fest had me reflecting over my own love connections throughout my lifetime thus far and a list ran through my mind… I’ve experienced puppy love, first love, unrequited love, and love at first sight. I have dated sooooo many different kinds of guys over the decades – some serious and super, long-term and some not-so-much. I often look back and try to figure out what my life would be like if I had married the first man I fell for… or the second… or the third… or… ha! I do LOVE to fall in love!
Not that any of these dating experiences have been for not. Each relationship has taught me something about life, love, and ultimately about myself – each one carving a little piece of me to make me who I am today. Yes, some of the relationships taught me exactly what I DO NOT want while with other relationships it simply boiled down to poor timing… not that he was a BAD person or that we didn’t have chemistry.
I sat quietly thinking of each of these men and I realized every one of my love relationships were a dependent kind of love. Even… dare I be brutally honest… an obsessive love. These men had “conditions” in order to love me. Sigh. I’d heard of unconditional love, but I truly felt it was more of a fable than a reality. Sure my parents love me unconditionally, but I’m talking about a love between a man and a woman. I’m happy to add the last man I fell in love with to my love list because my love for him is an unconditional love just as his love for me is unconditional. So there you have it… unconditional love between a man and a woman is real… not a fairy tale.
My heart is now set on true love. A very wise friend told me, “Fall in love with your eyes wide open… stay in love with one eye shut!” Oh, how I love this advice. I look forward to my next vacation and truly hope until then I remember to show love daily and give love freely. Perhaps this is the year in which I successfully find “the one” for me and live happily ever after… it does happen… you know… just ask Cinderella!
© Renae Rossman and Candy Coated Reality™