Love – we talk about it, sing about it and write about it. It is researched, analyzed, and villainized. We all seek it. We look for it in relationships with others and for some of us in a relationship with God. We have always been told to find it in ourselves before we look for it anywhere else. It is unconditional love that we want – yet ponder if there really is such a thing.
I am convinced that there is a kind of love that lasts forever. One that can stand the test of time. Not the ordinary or common kind of love – the easy kind. I am talking about the deepest love possible, the kind my grandparents have – they have been together 40 years. I believe it is the kind of love that we all hope for but few are lucky enough to find.
One day whether it was luck or fate real love showed up for me. I didn’t recognize it but just as love would do – it persevered. It stayed in my life quietly loving me from afar – even amidst moments of frustration that I could not see what was right in front of me.
And as I sit here in this realization I have to tell you that no this isn’t about to turn into some fairy tale ending love story. I am not dating or planning a future with someone.
What I have learned is that the words “I love you” are easy but showing it is harder. And when my kids ask me about love or I find myself offering unsolicited advice to friends these are the things that I will tell them.
Find the person who is there for you for the good and the bad. Not because they are getting something out of it, but because they love you so much they wouldn’t have it any other way. The one who would never say a word to hurt you because hurting you would hurt them.
Find the person that thinks that you are the most beautiful human being they have ever encountered even unshowered and scrubbing toilets – because love isn’t always pretty. The one who tells you that your snoring is cute and helps them to fall asleep at night.
Find the person who you can trust to share anything with – knowing that no matter what it will never come back to hurt you. The one that is there for you for the big and small stuff – not just with words but actions because they matter more.
Find the person who surprises you by decorating your house with Christmas lights – because they know the kids were disappointed that you didn’t do it last year. The one you find shovelling your driveway at 6 am after a snowstorm because they wanted to make your day easier.
Find the person that you would text from a plane preparing for take off – asking them to raise your children if god forbid anything happens to you. The one that you know without a doubt is someone you would want them to look up to.
Find the person who admires and believes in you. The one who stands by you no matter what – even quietly loving you from afar when you need them to because love is patient.
This is the kind of love that is worth waiting for – the kind that could last forever.
(This post originally appeared on MissJohannaMarie.com)
About the author: Johanna Goodfellow is mom to three amazing kids and works full time in social work. She is an avid hiker, over-thinker and aspiring writer.