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I Still Love Everyone I Have Ever Loved

Real love is about seeing someone who they truly are, flawed like all human beings inevitably are, and accepting them, wholly and completely.


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Meredith Kirby

4 months ago | 3 min read
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And I always will

“True love is eternal, infinite, and always like itself. It is equal and pure, without violent demonstrations: it is seen with white hairs and is always young in the heart.” — Honore de Balzac

Throughout the course of my life, I’ve been lucky enough to fall in love more than once.

But what exactly is love, and how do we “fall” into it?

Anyone who’s ever experienced a passionate intimate relationship can probably relate to this feeling of “falling,” and I believe there’s a reason why we use that particular word to describe it.

Falling, in the figurative sense, certainly feels a bit like falling in a literal sense. It’s similarly exciting, overwhelming and scary.

The euphoria associated with this kind of infatuation is how I imagine a skydiver or an astronaut probably feels, hurtling back towards Earth, while taking in a view which is vast and beautiful at an indescribable level.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that there’s a difference between “falling in love” and actually loving someone.

The lust and drama of connecting on a deep level with another person can certainly feel earth-shatteringly meaningful– for a while. But when we crash from the high produced by the cocktail of oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine that swirls in our brains during a romance, what is left?

The truth is that real love has nothing to do with bringing flowers, reciting poems, or fantasizing about your future children. It’s not about great sex, great conversation, or sweeping anyone off their feet. We think of love as something intense and epic, but in reality, it's quite mundane.

Real love isn’t a fairytale story with princesses, knights, magic or prophecies. It isn’t thrilling and intoxicating- actually, it’s rather boring.

It’s an everyday story that includes things like eating, sleeping, cleaning your house and paying the bills. It’s about dealing with the challenges of whatever journey you each happen to be on, together.

Real love is about seeing someone who they truly are, flawed like all human beings inevitably are, and accepting them, wholly and completely. Real love doesn’t fade as physical attraction does, and it doesn’t fizzle out like lustful passion.

Real love doesn’t even go away when you want it to.

You’ve probably seen the evidence of this in your own relationships. The people we love are often the ones who hurt us the most, but somehow, we love them anyway.

I’ve heard many people say, “love shouldn’t hurt,” but the truth is, no matter how good everyone’s intentions are, it’s bound to hurt sometimes. Often we are only hurt by those we love because of our love for them. If we didn’t care, it would be easier to be indifferent.

When I look back over my past relationships, I can now see the difference between having “fallen in love” and having “loved.” It’s an easy distinction for me to make because there’s a single measurement I can use to be sure: I still love everyone who I have ever truly loved.

True love is eternal. It’s not about physical beauty, sex, validation, or power. It’s about the essence of what makes us human, and the recognition of our humanness in each other. It’s about looking at another person in the eyes and seeing a part of yourself.

When you truly love someone, it is truly unconditional, and irrevocable.

Real love doesn’t go away because of hardship or conflict. It doesn’t end in the heat of an argument, or after the pain of betrayal. It isn’t reduced when someone loses their job, gains weight, or gets old– because things like that aren’t the real reasons why we love people.

Love has nothing to do with the temporary bodies we live in, or the temporary experience we have while we are alive.

It is the act of accessing the innate, infinite knowledge programmed into our souls and our cells, and truly understanding that we will never really be separated from each other, despite any physical or emotional detachment.

The truth is that I still love everyone I’ve ever truly loved.

I’ll love them if they are poor or wealthy.

I’ll love them if they are sick or healthy.

I’ll love them if they marry somebody else, go to prison, join a cult, or lose all of their hair and teeth.

I’ll love them in spite of time, in spite of anger, in spite of distance, and in spite of death.

And I always will.

Anything less just isn’t love.

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Meredith Kirby

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