We interrupt our usual programming to say a few basic things about ... love.
One thing I think I've learned about "love you can bathe in" is that the best kind of love is comprised of two parts: one's general degree of happiness, and one's ability to give attention.
Of course, it's much more than that, but it's really useful to view it through this simple lens.
It's hard to give (and thus receive) love when you're unhappy. Love often takes the form of a craving for attention, but it's really not: It's the gift of giving attention.
It's incredibly difficult to marshal attention in today's world. Paying rapt attention to someone whose company you genuinely enjoy is pure bliss.
When you're already happy, it's so much easier to give the gift of attention. When your happiness shines and luxuriates in the presence of another person, it's something very closely resembling love, romantic or not.
It has nothing to do with all the demands we make on the people we ostensibly love -- that's something else entirely.
It's almost as if that feeling of "I" just disappears, and you're swishing around in something else. When the "I" comes roaring back, as it inevitably does, contraction happens. Lose the "I" and love flows again.
Maria Popova puts it this way: “The longer I live, the more deeply I learn that love—whether we call it friendship or family or romance—is the work of mirroring and magnifying each other’s light. Gentle work. Steadfast work. Life-saving work in those moments when life and shame and sorrow occlude our own light from our view, but there is still a clear-eyed loving person to beam it back. In our best moments, we are that person for another.”