Our entire lives, we are programmed to believe love means Prince Charming will come sweep you off your feet, you will get married in a beautiful white dress with all your family and friends around you, and you will live happily ever after. This has become our standard measure of love. Love is always equated with romantic love, and if you don’t have this love in your life, society makes you feel like something is missing. If you don’t have a significant other, somehow you are not worthy of love or you don’t know true love… Or so I believed.
Spending two months in Jordan and Greece, surrounded by amazing humanitarians, courageous refugee families, and so many kind people has led me to a great realization about love.
True love does exist! Sometimes in places you’d least expect it.
We find love in the people who see our kind hearts and our passion for spreading joy everywhere. When we work on projects together, connect on our drives to our various destinations, and exchange life stories with those whose paths cross ours, this is love.
We find love in the precious children we encounter. If you smile at children, make them laugh, play with them, and give them your undivided attention, you will see what true love is. I first found love in 2013, in the form of a courageous little 3-year-old boy in a Gaza refugee camp in Jordan. To most people who saw him, he was always pouting and didn’t want to talk to anyone. After discovering we both have a mutual joy for playing on the swings, going down the slide, and generally running around like monkeys, this little angel started talking to me and was telling me stories about the birds, the sun, the moon, the trees, and whatever else his little imagination could come up with. His smile warms my heart and gives me hope till this day whenever I remember it.
During my recent time in Greece, I encountered a very special woman – a Syrian refugee – who was my mother’s age. I first met her as she was coming into the port, off a small raft with the other refugees to the island of Chios. As I was treating her for her ear pain in the refugee clinic in Tabakika, she was telling me the story of how she and her husband met and how much they adored each other, and what her life was like in Syria before the war. Despite her circumstances, she was smiling and had a way of joking to ease the situation. Her kindness and warmth, even in the most difficult of situations, is the living expression of love.
We find love in the people who see our kind hearts and our passion for spreading joy everywhere.
There are people we meet and connect with, and they are sent to make us understand how we are meant to be loved, exactly as we are.
As much love as you pour into the universe, you will find this love returned in so many unconventional ways. God sends us people to show us what unconditional love is, who love us at our worst, and who make us see positive sides of ourselves we didn’t see before.
This is the truest, purest love that exists.