What’s love got to do with it? That’s what Tina Turner asked in her now-classic 1984 hit. When I was putting together the 30-day Valentine Challenge, the song was playing in my head…an earworm… over and over. And it got me thinking about love.
What is it – the love thing?
You and I say we love. We love people. We love our pets. We love places, events, and things..
But sometimes it’s a little confusing. Like…several women and men have told me they love their spouse, but don’t like them. That always gets me scratching me head. Of course, I guess it makes for an interesting marriage – and one I personally believe could use The Five-Year Marriage® treatment.
But here’s a question for you….Have you ever thought about what love really means to you?
I don’t know that I ever did until I wrote The Five-Year Marriage. Then I got thinking about it. When I was a kid, love was someone being nice to me. When I was older, love got tangled with sex. When my parents needed caregiving, doing that was love. How could it be all those things. Yet it is.
So I got quiet one day and started poking around in my head. How do I know what love is – what it feels like? My thoughts surprised me; my conclusion didn’t.
To me, love is feeling safe with the person/people I’m with. That feeling of safety allows me to be who I really am, my unguarded self – to laugh out loud, to be emotional without censor, to say something stupid, be teased, and a bunch of other things that don’t happen when I don’t feel safe.
It was so interesting that I next poked around in other people’s heads. Turns out love is something very different to everyone. Here’s what some other women said love is:
- Kate: feeling like home to each other
- Maggie: comfort in uncomfortable places
- Caitlin: being with someone who pays attention
- Missy: being alone but not feeling lonely
What about you? Have you ever thought about what love is to you? Once you get really clear about what love is to you, it’s easier to identify the best places to give and get love. It’s easier to decide who is friend, acquaintance, or just a PIA you have to have in your life.
During this “love month” t could be worth a little poking around in your head time. And not just for clarity. There’s something else to make it worthwhile. Tina sings that love is a “second-hand emotion.”
Did you know that love has actual health benefits? It does – and it’s probably the reason the American Heart Association chose this month for its heart-health “Go Red for Women” campaign.
People in Love reap some cool rewards.
Here are just a few:
- Fewer colds
- Lower blood pressure
- Fewer heart attacks
- Faster recovery from heart attacks
- Fewer complications from pneumonia
- Shorter hospital stays
- Longer life
What if you don’t have a sweetie to love and love you? No worries!
You can get the same health benefits by having a beloved pet, a strong girlfriend tribe, or a close knit social circle.
So, to answer Tina’s “what’s love got to do with it” question: Apparently a lot! So, in your best Victory Chick mode while your thinking, meditating, walking, or praying, take a few minutes of soul-searching this Valentine’s Day.
And maybe that song will stop rolling around my brain. Damn earworm… 🙂
Happy Valentine’s Day!
With love and in victory,