It’s hard not to ask the question, especially at this time of year. The following answers were offered by young children in response to a survey by the Couples Institute regarding the question “What is love?”
Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your fries without making them give you any of theirs
– Chrissy age 6
Love is what makes you smile when you are tired
– Terri, age 4
Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it every day
– Noelle 7
Love is when mommy gives daddy the best piece of chicken
– Elaine age 5
Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day
– Mary Ann age 4
You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it, But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget
– Jessica age 8
Perhaps the best example of love wasn’t something that was said, but done. Leo Buscaglia shared this special moment he witnessed:
A four year old child had an elderly gentleman as a next door neighbour who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his mother asked what he had said to the neighbour, the little boy said “Nothing, I just helped him cry”.
For me, love is an action. It’s about moving toward rather than moving away. It’s about staying present, even when it’s uncomfortable. It’s about patiently waiting through silence, until emotions can form.
Love is what keeps us whole, allows us to heal, giving the walk forward meaning.
Warm thoughts and lots of love on this Valentine’s Day,
Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong