We feel passion and love for many different reasons.
Love is a multi-dimensional emotion. There is a huge variety of people, things, and situations that can cause our hearts to light up in love or what feels like love.
Love can assume many forms, can be found in many places, and can take on many disguises. The corollary is also true – there are things that can masquerade as love that are not the real thing.
Love is complex. We can love flying, dancing, or eating ice cream! People say they love traveling, love Italy, or love a certain car. You will hear, I really love that film! Or, I love shopping for shoes. The list is endless!
So what should we think when someone says, I love you? Do they love me the same way they love a car or their favorite flavor of ice cream? Do they love the real, inner me? Or do they love only my body? The questions are endless.
What does it mean to be in love?
The most common form of love most of us think of is usually a love relationship, also known as romantic love. This is the kind of love where we fall head-over-heels in love.
In romantic love, we have a love story. It starts with our meeting, and we both feel a spark. There is a flood of happiness and excitement. We talk for hours, have our first kiss, cuddle, make out, and eventually, have sex.
In most romantic relationships, we can’t bear to be apart. We spend all our time together talking about every possible subject. We just LOVE being together!
There are many flavors and opportunities for love.
There are wonderful experiences of love to be felt in relationships with one’s family, colleagues at work, or people you may know through volunteer organizations, to name just a few.
There are unlimited opportunities to meet people of ALL ages and genders and experience some form of love. Sometimes the feeling lasts for a minute and is never forgotten. Other times, you may find yourself getting closer to a person over many years.
I have always made an effort to Be Where the Most Love Is.
Wherever I go, I do my best to be open to meeting people around me. I don’t look away or limit myself because I have learned that I never know what sort of great connections await me.
Perhaps the person standing right next to me at the grocery store or sitting at the adjoining table in a restaurant will glance at me, and I’ll politely smile and say hi. Maybe I will compliment them on something they are wearing or their stylish haircut.
I have found that a lifelong friendship and a fleeting yet deep connection with a stranger can bring an immense amount of meaning and joy to my life. That is why I encourage everyone watching my YouTube videos and reading my blogs to consider being open to ALL kinds of relationships.
They can enrich your life in ways you don’t expect.
A family health emergency, an Uber driver, and a lifelong friendship!
Meaningful, lasting relationships can surprise us when they pop up unexpectedly.
This is the story I want to tell you today – about love that can originate in friendships that arise from a chance meeting with a complete stranger.
This story started one morning when I realized my partner, Will, was displaying signs of an urgent health crisis. I instantly called for an ambulance and rushed with him to the nearest hospital. Fortunately, we arrived in time for a game-changing medication.
Once he was stabilized, I was told I could move him to a hospital that would accept our insurance and could monitor him. We called an Uber, as it is our main mode of transportation in Panama City.
Our Uber pulls up, and the driver is an angel of a man. His name is Manuel. He is a lovely African-American man from Georgia, now living in Panama, who speaks fluent Spanish. This is a gift for us to have a native American-English speaker who also speaks Spanish!
I could not believe how lucky we were, in this health emergency, to have someone to communicate quickly and efficiently with the doctors and nurses! During our 15-minute drive to the other hospital, we became quite friendly with each other.
When we arrived, Manuel offered to come with us to the Emergency Department to make sure that my sweetheart got the best, most timely care. Thanks to his perfect Spanish, his presence, his confident stature, and his concern for us, he was able to get Will admitted right away.
In 15 minutes, a complete stranger had become a dear, caring friend.
After waiting a long time for any news of my partner’s prognosis, I finally told my new friend, Manuel, that he should go home as I had no idea how long I would need to be there.
His response floored me with his caring and generosity when he said, Ma’am, I’ll be right here. I’ll be visiting a friend across the street. My car will be right here. Just let me know when you need me.
This was someone I had only met less than an hour ago! And here he was, telling me that he would be standing by when I needed him!
This was the beginning of a great, loving friendship!
After our health emergency passed and things were ok, Manuel became my regular Uber driver. He would drive me to the shops I wanted and then go in with me sometimes, like he did during some of my Christmas shopping.
He was just so wonderful, and because of his dark skin, we had several conversations to make sure he had no problem with me, the woman with white skin. He knew that I had absolutely no problem with him, a man of beautiful color.
I really warmed up to Manuel during these outings. I talked it over with my partner, Will, about my love for this man. And I explained how Manuel had helped us during the dark hours following Will’s health scare and how we had gotten quite close. Yet the whole time I had known him, he had been of impeccable integrity and never let me get too close.
One day in his car, my heart overflowed, and I said to Manuel, You know, in my next life, if I have children, I’m going to hope for a son. I say that because I know you’re living with your mom, and you’re taking care of her. And I really respect that and love that about you.
So I said, “In my next life, I’m going to have a son.”
He quietly softly spoke up from the front seat. So, ma’am, I’ll be your son. I was just flabbergasted! And I replied, Really? You would offer that with sincerity? Well, yes, ma’am, I will be your son, was all he said in return.
Well, this took me into an altered state! I felt my heart beating faster, and I said, Okay, we have a deal. I’m your other mom. And you’re my only son. My first son, my only son. This explains a lot of this heart energy I’m feeling for you, Manuel. It’s really big.
And he said, Yes, ma’am. I understand. I feel it too. I ‘knews’ when I met you… I ‘knews’ when I met you that something big was going to happen because of meeting you. I’ll never forget him saying that!
I love sharing stories meant to inspire you!
My goal is to share the gift of trusting in love and trusting in friendships, new or old. They are most likely in your life for a good reason.
Perhaps you have not uncovered what those reasons are yet, but something valuable is probably encouraging you to stay in those friendships. Something powerful in your heart inspires you to continue to make phone calls or send emails and text messages to those friends and stay connected.
Today, and every day, I’m volunteering to be one of those friends you want to stay connected with. Manuel volunteered to be my son, I volunteer to be a friend that you want to keep for a long, long time.
I salute you, I Namaste you, which means I bow to the divine within you, from the divine within me.
Conversation with Caroline adaption and writing by Wordsmith – Peter D. Black