Tell your mom you love her

By Ellen Barczak, Columnist

When’s the last time you told your mom you love her? Do you know what love is?

That word, “love,” is tossed around pretty casually. I love Burt’s Bees chapstick, my friend loves working out and my brother loves aviation, but when’s the last time you said you loved someone, not something?

What did it mean to you?

Love is often thought of in a romantic context: eros. Our culture’s infatuation with this kind of love, however, tends to overshadow the three other, equally important kinds of love: affection, friendship and, the highest, agape.

You’ve probably heard of the first three loves I mentioned. Agape, though? By the way, pronounce it like you’re speaking Spanish. You’re doing great.

Agape is the pinnacle of love any person can ever achieve. It is unconditional and self-sacrificial. It exists regardless of the circumstances in which a person finds themself.

Even if you haven’t heard of agape before now, I promise you’ve experienced it in some way before. You were brought into the world enveloped by it.

Your mother, by carrying you; delivering you; raising you; putting her life on hold for you; getting up with you every time you cried or had a nightmare; being your friend when your friends weren’t being nice, gave you the gift of agape.

Your mom chose your life over her own life. She chose your life over her own comfort, over her own free time, over her own bank account —let’s be real, we’re expensive— and over her own peace of mind.

People often think of love as a feeling. I hate to break it to you, but love is anything but that. Rather, love is a conscious, continual choice. Think about it. What’s more powerful: a compulsion or a decision?

Look at the relationships in your own life. Compare them with the love your mother has shown you. Does that love even come close? Is there true, self-giving, unconditional love in the relationships outside of your family? If not, it may be time to reassess.

I don’t think any of us will ever understand how much our moms love us until we have our own collicky, fussy, messy, wonderful babies. Until then, try to wrap your head around how many conscious decisions full of love went into your upbringing.

Call your mom on a regular basis. Tell her you love her. The simple fact of your existence is proof that love is, in fact, real, powerful and tangible.

Have a lovely Moms weekend.

Ellen is a sophomore in LAS.

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