30 at 30 – Lesson 1: Love is Life

After 30 years in this beautiful world, the most important lesson I learned is that love truly is life, and it is my life’s mission to help others understand what exactly that means.

Almost 15 years ago I purchased a bookmark with what became one of my favorite quotes, “Where there is love, there is life”, by Mahatma Gandhi. I align so much with this quote because I have always believed that love is the basis of life. We can discuss the philosophy of love in a variety of contexts, but the gist of this quote is that we feel the brilliance of being alive when we are in the presence of love – be it romantic, platonic, familial or experiential love. Love comes in many such forms, and when you feel the essence of it, life looks different. Colors are brighter, smiles are bigger, laughter is longer, and feelings are stronger.

There was a time when I thought this only applied to the romantic notion of love – the movie version where one would fall madly in love with an individual and suddenly feel the aforementioned feelings. It is only when that love was lost in my own life that I realized that love can be felt in every aspect of life and that is actually what is meant by this quote.

Love is an essence that connects all that we see and experience in this world. The romantic form of love is just the first time we truly recognize this essence and how magical it is or can be. Once you know the feeling and truly resonate with it, you can feel it and experience it everywhere, even outside of a romantic relationship. From the beauty seen in nature to the opportunity to breathe in this world, there is love in all of it if you’re open to it. So be open to love in all aspects of life, for that is when you truly start living.

What is love
But the ultimate mystery
The essence unknown
To the innocent gentry

What is love
But an essence itself
A beautiful force
For it is life itself

– Akiti –

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