When we come into the world, we immediately become pupils in the school of love. Of course, no one calls it that, and we certainly don’t recognize that fact then if ever. But all of our experiences including family relationships, friends, romantic partners, religious settings, cultural influences such as books, movies and music, pets we acquire and objects we attach to combine to give each of us a working definition of love. Much of what we learn about love is mysterious. Shouldn’t love be easy? Why is sustaining love often difficult? What might it mean to really “love our neighbor” and “as ourself??” Why are there so many stories about love gone wrong? Why do we often take love for granted? Why do we still long for a happy ending? Why can the same love that heals also hurt? Why do we still love in the face of betrayal? Is there such a thing as unconditional love? And I haven’t even begun to touch on erotic love. That topic will only occur on the edges of future posts though since this will remain G-rated and is not a tell-all,
Our first lessons come to us as babies. And already we are learning much. Is our birth cause for joy or regret? We pick up clues from how we are held and talked to. Are we assigned a task such as with many babies of teen mothers to love rather than to be loved? We absorb a lot without knowing it, and it will show up throughout our lives for better or worse. But we are designed to seek love and our little faces grin expectantly.