I’m always up for a good love story. I love them in songs, poems, books, and especially in movies. No matter how schmaltzy, I fall for them every time. Recently though, I got to revisit one of the best parts of my favorite love story—my own.
As a Christmas gift to me, my husband assembled a video by piecing together lesser-seen scenes from our wedding and reception with images and footage of his proposal thrown in. Some I had not seen before, others I had forgotten in the years since our wedding. Just about everything was as I remembered it—the church, my dress, the flowers and cake, and the cool, gray San Francisco day. It was strange watching ourselves and our friends and family knowing now how our lives would change so many years later. Some of our guests have since passed away. Some families have changed because of divorce, while others have grown as they welcomed new members.
As I watched I saw something I had not noticed before. I paid particular attention to our guests. I saw them seated in the church, mingling during the reception, and toasting us and telling stories about what my husband and I meant to them. Some even shared details from their love stories. They were saying different things, but they all had one thing in common. They loved us, but more than that, they were in love with us. I could see it in their eyes and hear it in their voices. They were all simply aglow with the light of love.
Shining the Light of Love
This glow happens when love pervades everything and we give ourselves fully over to it, steeping ourselves in love. Certain occasions prime us for this—weddings, births and baptisms, even funerals. Whenever we gather in the name of love and let it wash over us, we fall in love.
But it’s not these situations that create the love. The love is always there, just too often obscured by the chaos of our lives, the busyness of our thoughts, buried under layers of concerns and distractions. Without even noticing, we gradually fall into patterns and habits, routines and schedules. We still love one another, just not in an enchanted way. But when we call love forth through attention and intention, it overtakes our thinking, colors our words and actions, and floods our feelings. Then love becomes the lens through which we view not just our lives, but all life.
It’s not necessary to wait for a special occasion like Valentine’s Day or a major life event to rekindle love. It’s possible to live this way more and more of the time, starting right now.
You can fall in love over and over again. It just takes commitment and a little practice. You can see the people in your life with new eyes. You can take time to deeply notice and appreciate their intelligence, talents, and energy. Listen afresh to the stories you’ve heard 20 or 30 times as though you’re hearing them for the first time. Rediscover the magic, find the charm, the beauty, the humor that is too often obscured by routine rhythms and petty annoyances that creep into everyone’s life.
Let yourself be enchanted by those already in your life. You don’t have to wait for a wedding, and you certainly shouldn’t wait for a funeral to do it.
The more you do it, the easier it’ll be. And then your entire life will become the best love story of all.