(Graffiti art of Princess Diana in Shoreditch, London by Rice)

Love like Princess Diana

“I think the biggest disease the world suffers from in this day and age is the disease of people feeling unloved. If you find someone you love in your life, then hang on to that love.” — Princess Diana

You are loved. Whether you realize it or not, you are. The worst thing in life may seem to be never being loved, but it is actually being loved, and not noticing it.

Our whole lives we search for true love, to be that counterpoint in another, but sometimes we search so hard that we don’t realize we have it when it’s right in front of us.

Too often we picture what love is by what we see in a movie or by the storybook endings we have been read as children. Love is not living happily ever after, it’s working alongside someone who wants to be by our side. Love is not easy, but that’s how we know it’s worth fighting for.

Love is not about being perfect, it’s about realizing that someone wants to be by your side despite your imperfections.

Imagine that a child asks her parents each and every day for a shiny new bike. Pleading with her parents, she cannot wait to have what she has always dreamed of. She thinks about it each day, how beautiful it will be, so much so that she dreams about it at night. And then one day, her parents present her with a bike, but not the bike she had envisioned. It is a little old and rusty, the paint has chipped off around the edges, and it is not exactly what she asked for. Her parents tell her that this was all they could afford and that it was her job now to make it look brand new. The girl could pout about not having exactly what she wanted or she could realize that she has everything she needs. She could understand that it is now on her to take care of the bike, to polish it up and add a fresh coat of paint. It is in appreciating the gift she was given that allows her to make it what she always wanted.

It is easy to be discouraged when love does not come in a neat little package, when it is not exactly what we had seen in our dreams. It is when we realize that great love takes time, it takes appreciating what we have that allows us to build it into what we always wanted.

The most important part is knowing that we aren’t doing it alone. It is in having someone by our side that is willing to work just as hard as we are towards that common goal.

But if we are so concerned with love being just as we had always dreamed, we are unable to love someone else the way we want to be loved.

We never know how many moments we have, but we have the power to make the most of what we are given when we appreciate love.

We are presented with two choices when we are loved: we can see its imperfections and let it go, or we can realize that we finally have what we always wanted if we are willing to work at it. It may appear rusty and imperfect at the start, but when we realize what we have, when we realize who we have, love can become a true work of art.

Love today like there is no tomorrow, because one day there won’t be.

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