I once heard that joy is felt in the chest, sadness is felt in the heart, fear is felt in the mind, and guilt is felt in the stomach. But what of love? Where do you feel it? What does it feel like - or is it even a thing to be felt? Anger feels hot. Loneliness feels cold and guilt feels heavy. But what of love?
Happy couples say they feel lighter. Is that it? To be loved, is it to feel…lifted? The dictionary says “love is an intense feeling of deep affection.” Such distant words for so involved an emotion. Remove the redundant adjectives and what are you left with? “Love is a feeling of affection.” Is that all?
It is a curiosity that we say we wish to “be” loved. “Be,” not “feel.” It is wonderful to feel loved, yes, but if it is just that - a feeling - then it means nothing. Perhaps this is because “happy,” “sad,” and “angry” are descriptions, but “loved” is a designation. It captures, in a single word, an emotion, a state of being, a commitment, and a relationship. I feel loved. I am loved. I love you and you love me, always. If joy is a firework, then love is a patient candle.
Patient, kind. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love is joy, love is sadness, love is warmth, love is cold. And it is felt from head to toe.