Happiness Happens: Thirty-One Shades of Love

by Pamela Gail Johnson on February 11, 2013


Love is a timeless enigma that we instinctively seek, yet, simultaneously fear.

We know that we need love to be happy, but we also know that love makes our happiness vulnerable. Our vulnerability allows fear to mask itself as a protector of hurt and disappointment. Yet, ironically this supposed protection also prevents us from experiencing the depths of happiness that only happens when love brings us to the edge of our vulnerabilities.

This entrenched love is natural between a parent and child unless circumstances derail it. However, we love virtually everyone else to different degrees, or as in the case of this post, shades.

The experience of love from the romantic to the platonic creates both cherished moments that we’ll forever remember and significant hurts that we’ll never forget. Love both energizes and drains everyone in its grasp.  Although love is universally similar, it’s also exclusively unique between two people.

This week Cupid’s arrows are putting love in the air for Valentine’s Day, so let’s explore the thirty-one shades of love and how expanding our ideas of love can make us a little happier.

Amused ~ When we love someone we are easily amused by things that they do that would either annoy others or they wouldn’t get.

Anticipation ~ In romantic love there’s nothing anticipated more than the first kiss.

Awestruck ~ We are awestruck when the mere presence of someone causes us to light up.

Balanced ~ Healthy love happens when our life is balanced between those we love and all the other facets needed to make up a complete life.

Blessed ~ When we love and are loved back we feel blessed.

Celebrate ~ The way to celebrate love is when those we love know it because our actions match our words.

Cheerful ~ Cheerfulness is a natural by-product from experiencing a moment of love.

Confident ~ Feeling loved helps naturally increase our confidence.

Content ~ Love inspires contentment but beware that it also doesn’t become complacency.

Enthusiasm ~ Shared experiences with someone we love evokes enthusiasm.

Giving ~ The essence of love is giving without expectations.

Helpful ~  Helpfulness is a natural reaction when love is involved.

Honorable ~ Pure love is honorable because without honor it’s tainted.

Hopeful  ~ Love allows us to believe in hope.

Humor ~ Humor provides the catalyst for love to thrive amidst the reality of life’s chaos.

Inspired ~ Love awakens inspiration.

Joyful ~ Our heart flutters with joy when we’re immersed in the moment with loved ones.

Kindness ~ When love defines us kindness prevails.

Lively ~ Love enables us to experience life’s liveliness.

Love ~ Love comes in many varieties from the romantic to platonic, including the broad universal love we have for humanity to the singular personal love we have for an individual.

Mellow ~ Love allows us to appreciate the mellow moments.

Motivated ~ Love motivates us to take actions to experience our passions and dreams.

Nostalgic ~ Our most revered nostalgic moments involve experiences with those we love.

Optimistic ~ Love makes optimism possible.

Peaceful ~ Peace follows when we understand the possibilities of love.

Playful ~ Love thrives when we play.

Relieved ~ We are naturally empathic to the concerns of loved ones, so when relief appears happiness multiplies.

Satisfaction ~ When we succeed at something we love doing we’re subsequently satisfied.

Social ~ When we socialize with others by sharing a common passion, the experience unites those who love it.

Spiritual ~ Spiritual love is the universal love that connects us to strangers, friends and foes alike because it reminds us of our similarities.

Thankful ~ When we view life from the prism of love we’re naturally thankful because blessings are obvious.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth Maness ( February 13, 2013 at 11:36 am

These are great ways to explain live and what it means to us!


Pamela Gail February 17, 2013 at 12:25 am

Thanks Elizabeth … and hope it increased your perspective of love.


Dawn Lanier February 13, 2013 at 9:56 pm

31 shades of love – never thought about it like that Pamela Gail. This was very interesting – thanks! (and Happy Valentine’s Day :)


Pamela Gail February 17, 2013 at 12:26 am

Thanks Dawn … hope everyday is filled with the 31 Shades of Love.


Julie February 13, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Great look at the different shades of love! I know I’m blessed with many different ‘loves’ in my life, and they do make me very happy :) Happy Valentines!


Pamela Gail February 17, 2013 at 12:28 am

Thanks Julie…it’s amazing how much love is in our life if we just notice it.


Suzanne Jones February 13, 2013 at 10:26 pm

Love the 31 shades of love :)
‘ Our vulnerability allows fear to mask itself as a protector of hurt and disappointment.’ This is so very true and we all mistake vulnerability as a weakness which is just not so…


Pamela Gail February 17, 2013 at 12:29 am

Thanks Suzanne … vulnerability can be a beautiful moment because we’re authentically in the moment.


denny hagel February 14, 2013 at 9:35 am

Wow! This is amazing, thanks so much for sharing!


Pamela Gail February 17, 2013 at 12:30 am

Thanks Denny … glad you enjoyed it and hope your days are filled with the 31 Shades of Love.


Kerry Postel February 17, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Wow – great post! You always give such a great perspective of things! Thank you!


Sara Nickleberry February 17, 2013 at 10:41 pm

I love this!


Helena Bowers February 22, 2013 at 2:40 pm

This is beautiful! I love how you related happiness and love together in each example. :)


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