It was never going to be long before I tried my hand at writing about love.
Those who know me well, may wonder why it has taken me this long.
But sometimes, the subject of love proves difficult to put into mere words, and we are all following in the footsteps of so many revered others, writing about love is not easy.
From Shakespeare to Yeats and The Beatles, most of the songs, plays, poems and books ever written are on the subject of love, because it is the most powerful emotion the human spirit can experience.
Before I write more, I want to say that this particular blog may well be even more personal than my previous writing. It may also be a little longer.
But I believe that we are all here to live and speak our own truth and so, I shall continue to do just that, without worrying what others may think at all.
If, however, you find yourself without any spiritual beliefs of any kind, it might be better for you to stop reading right now and go and put the kettle on. For love is impossible to write about without touching, in at least a gentle way, on our Divinity and our souls.
My daughter, if reading this, as she sometimes does, may at this point, think that I’m going to ‘ sit cross-legged and call myself Willow’ , as she has expressed before in her inimitable way.
But it’s ok Molly, I’m not and my sense of humour and down-to-earth nature will remain intact!
If you’re still with me, I also want to thank two people today.
My friend and fellow dancer, April, for her words of encouragement when I feel that it is too scary to write so openly.
In the Spring, a young man’ s fancy turns to it.
Poets and songwriters are inspired by it.
People throughout the ages have lived and died for it. Even killed in its name.
But what is it, this emotion that takes up so much of our thoughts and time? How do we know we are feeling it?
A little personal note here: my name, Amanda is derived from the Latin for ‘ to be loved’ or ‘ worthy of love’.Named by my Irish grandfather, I’ve been a hopeless romantic my whole life, and maybe ‘ Amanda’ is why!
My two favourite films are ‘Some Like It Hot’ and ‘ The Sound Of Music’. Both love stories.
And my favourite songs are love songs, my earliest in this regard being sung by The Beatles, and John Lennon in particular, who I swore aged 5 that I would marry.
My friends in the book club I belong to, cast exasperated looks my way as I suggest yet another love story or anthology of poetry for us to read.
‘ Is it about love?’ I ask ‘ For if not, I’m not sure I’m very keen to read it’ .
But there are definitely two distinct sides to my character.
My father is a very straight-talking engineer and my mother is a poetic soul of Irish descent. Both have influenced me.
I’ve studied psychology and philosophy, finding them equally important and fascinating.
For without the why’s and the how’s, I’ve never been interested, and I always look for proof wherever possible.
Yet, on the other hand, where would we be without the ideals and ideas posed by philosophy?
So, I practice yoga, but I also like nothing more than empirical research and scientific fact, a difficult thing to find when looking into the business of love!
There are many different kinds of love.
Familial, dutiful and unconditional- the love we feel for our children and our parents and siblings.
Platonic, as in the love we have for our closest friends.
Universal- a love I often feel as I look out over a sparkling river on a sunny day or over a sea of rapt faces enjoying a wonderful live performance of some kind.
Then, I can’t help feeling a swell of love for my fellow human beings, knowing that we are all just trying our best, have the same struggles and pains and are in this together.
And then there is romantic love.
The stuff of legend.
How many of us, if we are honest, will leave a better legacy behind than the love we have shown to other people in our short time on earth?
Very few of us will be remembered for some invention that made lives better or for a medical breakthrough that alleviated pain and suffering.
We all don our masks each day, pretending to do very important jobs to cover for the fact that most of us are sleep-walking through our lives and have no idea why we are here at all.
I am here for Love. And I know that for sure. To feel it and show it and not to be afraid.
For I strongly believe that we all have Divine missions to fulfil, and only by doing this can we find any true happiness and peace while we are here in our allotted span.
‘ The greatest thing we can ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return ‘ ( Nature Boy )
We are all capable of love, yet we don’t all achieve it, or anywhere near it.
Not all love is created equal.
Not all love, is love.
Who can forget the famous quote from Prince Charles on the eve of his engagement to Diana Spencer when asked if he was in love.
‘ Whatever ‘ in love ‘ means’ was his unromatic and dead-pan answer, even as she smiled shyly up at him, clearly besotted. I think we all knew right then that the union would end in tears and disaster. At least, watching it, I did. My thoughts were that his heart must have for some reason, frozen, or ( as turned out to be the case ) he must be in love with another. My romantic heart hurt for Diana that night.
For if you can’t be joyful and happy when you’ve asked somebody to be yours, when can you be?
You can see and feel love when you are in the presence of it, for there is no disguise. I went to the engagement party of two dear friends recently where true love was present in the room, and they were not afraid to show us all, so we could share in their happiness. It was wonderful and every guest left feeling enriched.
Marriage does not necessarily involve love.
We’ve all witnessed those couples that sit and stare drearily into space without a word to say on Valentine’s Day in restaurants.
True love has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day or anything so trite. It is expressed in the little details of every day, rather than the hearts and flowers and diamond rings of the Big Occasion.
True love is kind and quiet.
‘ It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud’. ( I Corinthians 13:4-8 )
It is patient and never asks what is in it for us, but instead, seeks the other person’s happiness.
Love makes better people of us, because we want to be the best version of ourselves that we can possibly be.
Love makes us happy to our very core, so that we laugh at the smallest, silliest thing that the other says, simply because they have said it.
Love makes us tremble with delight at the sound of the loved one’s voice speaking our name. And our name on their lips sounds better than we have ever heard it before, it feels safe in their hands.Silences and pauses are filled with delight, as we both anticipate what the other will say next.
It means never feeling uncomfortable sitting quietly with that person but instead, feeling a sense of deep deep peace and complete satisfaction.
It means looking up, seeing their face and knowing there is nowhere else you’d rather be, even if it is pouring with rain or you are walking in the bitter cold.
Love means real concern for another person ‘s comforts.
Wanting to make their favourite meal for them because it makes them happy.
Love is never counting the cost of any slight argument or disagreement, but forgiving quickly, because there is nothing to forgive.
True love has no games and no pretences.
It does not diminish over time, but rather, increases and grows stronger every day.
When you love someone, the whole world looks more beautiful because they are in it.Everything lights up, people seem kinder.
It is this kind of love that can and will change the world. For as Martin Luther King Junior said : ‘ Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.’
True Love is unconditional, in the same way that love for our children is. It embraces flaws and imperfections, each becoming beloved as they make the loved one who they are.
Love is true understanding, each of the other. It plays no tricks or cruel games, because there is trust, truth and honesty at its heart.It is not to be confused with lust, which is not even a near relative ( although some people do muddle the two . )
Love is missing that person the moment they leave a room or have to go away for a while. Because their smile is the best smile you have ever seen and you will hold it in your mind until you can see them again.
Love is a secret shared by two people but that spreads like wild -fire. First to their family and friends and then to the rest of their world, wherever they go.
For everyone loves those who are in love, and in the words of the famous song from ‘ Casablanca’ : ( another favourite ) ‘ The world will always welcome lovers, as time goes by’ .
Love is painful. Nothing of great beauty comes without a price.
A parting from the person you love will feel like centuries, though only days or weeks may have passed.
For love is not logical or conveniently packaged and has no boundaries of age, space, distance or time.
Love is not logical. Yet it is the strongest and most precious gift any of us can give to another.
It can cut through anything and overcome any obstacle, although it can and does involve sacrifices, both small and large. They never feel like sacrifices, because you want to make them.
True love does conquer all. It is the only thing that can.
It is very rare and worth waiting a lifetime for.
Love inspires, inflames and impassions. But it also soothes, quietens, calms and softens. It is the best, and also the hardest thing in the world.
For love is divine. It is how we were created and where we will return.
Once you have found it- if you are lucky enough to have found it – never ever let it go.
‘ There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done
Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
‘ Nothing you can make that can’t be made
No-one you can save that can’t be saved
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time
‘ All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need’ .
Copyright A. Hills 2015 All Rights Reserved
‘Nature Boy’ ( Eden Ahbez )
‘As Time Goes By’ ( Herman Hupfeld )
‘All You Need Is Love ‘ ( Lennon-Mc Cartney )