on true love

happy valentine’s day!
i love today because i love love.

one of my favourite quotes of all time comes from jane austen’s mansfield park: “there are as many forms of love as there are moments in time.” indeed, and how velvety gorgeous are all those shades and brands and shapes of human love: friendship love, sibling love, parental love, concerned love, missionary love, kindred spirit love, baby love, empathy love, love for god, love from god, shared experience love, familial love, stranger love.

and then, there is romantic love.
{or, as edmund in mansfield park puts it, “as a man loves a woman; as a hero loves a heroine.”}


and even though all those other forms of love are so excruciatingly beautiful, i think romantic love is maybe the most beautiful kind. and i feel tremendously blessed to have felt it deeply and fiercely, and i have great hope that i’ll feel it with even more fervor in the future.

i believe in true love, and it’s so so so amazing to me. it compels us to give all of ourselves to another, to share our innermost parts, and to live with great intention for someone else. it not only weakens the knees and and sets butterflies fluttering in the stomach, but it also emboldens the heart, breaks down pride in the veins and illuminates goodness in the bones. true love softens and strengthens and sanctifies, somehow making us both more pliable and more solid. it rips us up and patches us back together; it miraculously opens and fills us; it allows us to become; it magnifies us.

true love is real. it is the best and realest magic that exists in the universe, and i passionately believe in it.

{artwork by caitlin connolly. i bought this print about ninety seconds after i first laid eyes on it, because it moved me so, reminding me that i’ve learned that true love is leaning together. this past year of my life has taught me that notwithstanding any differences or hardships that may exist between two people who love each other with fierce loyalty and pure charity, they can lean together and as a unit they can be gloriously beautiful, despite it all and because of it all. true love = leaning love.}

so happy, happy, happy valentine’s day. here’s to true love.


  1. Happy Valentine’s Day, Charity!!

  2. What beautiful sentiments. You have such a way with words. Happy Love Day to you!

  3. That was written beautifully! Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful words. Hope you have a great weekend :)

  4. Romantic love is awesome and amazing and so much fun! But you know, I don't really think looking for a love that "miraculously opens and fills us" as you say is the way to go. Once you open and fill yourself one is able to love another with the kind of strength and maturity it takes to build a life together.

  5. What a beautiful post. Thanks for reminding me how much I love Mansfield Park. That Jane Austen knows what she's writing about.

  6. Oh so beautiful, Charity. You will find it again someday. And I for one cannot wait to read THOSE posts. :)

  7. Spousal love is like parental love. You give more than you get. You appreciate what you receive. Romantic love isn't filling. It's selfless. One partner is often holding the other up, like the photo. Sometimes partners switch in that role.

  8. Charity, thank you. You've brought to light aspects of love I'd never considered before solely by the words you wove together. I needed this today.

  9. sometimes love is cleaning up your spouses throw up because they are so weak they can't do it themselves. sometimes love is getting up with that newborn for the 5th time because you know they have an important meeting in the morning. most times true love is waking up and thinking what can i do to make that person's life easier that day. most of the time that isn't super miraculous or filling, it's sweet and kind and Christlike and real.

    1. yes! yes! and that is what is so miraculous and filling!

  10. jenny:
    i am not look for love that will fill me. i am saying that mature, strong, true romantic love fills two people up in miraculous ways - miraculous because it is focused on giving, giving, giving, but yet it fills, fills, fills with wonder and more love and companionship and care.

    i totally agree! yes, yes! the miraculous part is that selfless doesn't mean non-filling, but quite the opposite!

  11. Babies take more than they give. Spouses are human. Relationships with both change over time. The give and take isn't even. Just like the photo he is carrying the weight. There are not many parts in life where the couple is both walking erect. Sometimes she is carrying him. Sometimes he is carrying her. I am not saying anyone should miss out on parental role or spousal role. But these things won't fill up a person. They actually can beat down a person. And spousal and parental love don't last a lifetime. We pass each other on earth. Be happy.

  12. I may be a tad prejudice, but I think your wiring is better than Jane Austen's! Simply astonishing!

  13. This post is really informative to all kind of people. I am very happy to see the post. I will request you to give more information about this. I have gotten many knowladable speech form here. I have also website where you can get some knowledge which may be for your welfare. Visit here…..
    true love