When I was a young uniform-clad catholic school girl, I learned about a few different types of love. Before that, I always thought love was love. Either you felt it or you didn’t. It seemed pretty black and white, cut and dry.
You can feel love for a spouse, a parent, a child, a friend, a pet, and even yourself. All of those are naturally different feelings. You can even feel love for someone you don’t even know.
This morning I read a story about a woman who had to bury her eight-year-old son. About a week ago, a drunk driver who was going over 60 MPH in a 30 zone, slammed into and completely demolished the boy’s car. His father was driving him to daycare. My heart literally sank.
I feel for the father, who has to carry the burden of surviving the crash, while he couldn’t do anything to protect his son. I feel for the mother, who will never see her baby again. I feel for the child, who never got a chance to really live. I also feel for the other driver, whose life will be forever ruined by his terrible decisions. So much sadness.
It is so important to make time for family, friends, and all the people we love. Whether it’s a text to say I love you or a surprise visit, hold on tight because no one is promised tomorrow.
Four Types of Love
There are eight types of love, but for our purposes today, I’m going to stick to four – the ones that resonate most with me (and, I’m sure, you too).
Agape – Selfless Love
I don’t know of a stronger love than that shared between a parent and child – except maybe that of a grandparent.
My mom and I have had a lot of rough patches, but it’s gotten better as I’ve gotten older. She’s my emotional support system, and I know she’d do anything for me, even if it caused her pain, unhappiness, or sadness.
My mom and I look similar- same body type, frame, etc. We share a lot of the same habits and love to switch places on my grandma!
She always sends me a good morning text, and we talk on the phone after work. She’s the one I go to for advice, support, and encouragement, and she’s always the first one to tell me that I can do anything I set my mind to.
My grandma (nanny) bestows unconditional and selfless love upon both her children and grandchildren. She always calls me her third child.
We talk on the phone every morning and sometimes at lunch, share a love for pretzels, Cheez-Its, and Peanut M&Ms, and love all things French.
During Lent, we’ve been doing a prayer challenge. And while that book wraps up this Sunday, we’ve decided to read another book right after. It was a great chance for us to bond and I’m so grateful to have her in my life.
Pragma – Love in a Marriage
This love is harmonic. It doesn’t happen right away, but it develops over time with a person similar to what you would call a soul mate.
While I don’t think we’ve achieved full pragma, I know my husband and I are on our way. We’ve been married for 5 months. Before that, we dated for over four years. And if you want to go back further, we went to high school together, meeting on the Track team, and graduating a year apart. We weren’t high school sweethearts, but what’s meant to be will always find a way.
Tony and I enjoy the same shows – The Walking Dead, Fear Factor, Impractical Jokers, American Horror Story. We like similar foods – Taco Bell, ceviche, pizza! And we love to travel every chance we get.
We don’t have much time together during the week – something we’re working on. We wake up, go to work, and are usually exhausted after. A lot of our quality time is well spent on the weekends.
Philia – Love between Friends
Friendship love is so special and not to be ignored or forgotten.
While I have many acquaintances, I have a handful of quality friendships – some are very new and others have lasted over 20 years. I’m grateful for the people in my life who build me up, support me, and allow me to do the same for them. When we’re young, a lot of time is wasted competing with “friends.” At this age, it’s nice to feel secure and confident when sharing ideas, opinions, and goals.
I speak with one of my best friends daily. I talk to another every few weeks. But in both cases, we always pick up right where we left off and have a ton of laughs when we see each other. I don’t know what I’d do without my girls!
Philautia – Self Love
This is, perhaps, the most important love. It’s about having a sense of worth and pride, but is not narcissistic. I don’t believe you can truly love another person unless you can love yourself first.
Now that I’m 28, I feel a lot more confident and happier with myself. I spend a good chunk of time on myself in the morning – praying, meditating, and working out. But I know I could do more in the lines of reading, writing, and just enjoying alone time.
There’s always more to be learned or more things to love (I still can’t stand my freckles!). There will always be challenges and struggles. I’m still my worst critic, but I accept who I am and I love me!
Peace, Love, Zen