Like most people, I routinely share pictures I consider to be cute or profound on my Facebook wall. Sometimes I’m surprised by the lack of attention paid to something I found particularly noteworthy; other times one picture gets more likes than I expected. And who knows how much any of this has to do with the value of the pictures themselves versus those mysterious and ever-changing Facebook algorithms?
Still, the picture above resonated with more people than the usual random post. I shared it almost off-handedly–I can’t even remember whose wall I found it on–and it had been shared so many times before it got to me that I can’t find an original creator to credit it to.
I related to this picture because it conveys a powerful message about what love IS and what it ISN’T. Love is ACTION, not FEELING.
Those romantic and mushy feelings we all enjoy at the beginning of a relationship are wonderful. And I promise you that after 25 years I still have those feelings for my husband. But not all the time.
The strength of your love for someone shows in how you care for them when you are not feeling mushy or romantic AT ALL. When I’m feeling angry and resentful towards my husband and yet I still get his medicines together for him in the morning (and don’t add arsenic), that’s love. When I wash the clothes he needs in the morning which he put in the hamper at bedtime, that’s love. When I go outside in the rain to roll up the windows of his car, even though we just had a fight, that’s love.
If you have been married any length of time, you know these things. If you haven’t gotten married yet, you had better learn them now. Romance can only take you so far. Flowers and candlelight are great and I still like them, but having the capacity and the will to ACT loving when you just aren’t feeling it is what will enable a relationship to endure.