One word frees us all of the weight and pain of life: that word is love. — Sophocles
One Priceless Love Lesson From a Cheap Tiny Old Ring
For the past, however, many years (I honestly can’t remember how longs it’s been), I’ve had this on again, off again, relationship with a cheap, gold-painted, little ring. There’s nothing particularly amazing about this ring. It wasn’t expensive, and it’s definitely not from Tiffany’s. In fact, I believe I bought it for less than five bucks at Forever 21 (when I was still in the appropriate age bracket to shop there). But for whatever reason, unbeknownst to me, I’ve grown a strong affection for this cheap, little ring. I wear it all the time, for every occasion, always on the same hand, always on the same finger.
The weird thing about this ring, however, is that without fail, every month or so, I manage to “lose” it. Despite the fact that I love wearing it, it never seems to faze me when I can’t find it. Sure, I get a little disheartened when it’s nowhere to be found, but that feeling doesn’t last too long because I somehow always intuitively know it’s bound to resurface. Seriously, I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve gone through this same routine of losing, misplacing, dropping, searching, and rediscovering my ring way more times than I can count.
Sometimes I find it at the bottom of my gym bag a few days later, even though I swear I already turned that bad boy inside out searching for it with no avail. Sometimes I find it in my dresser drawer, without a clue in the world as to how it got there. Other times I spot it on my bedroom floor, a week later, leaving me to wonder how the heck it wasn’t stepped on, swept up or vacuumed over in the time since it went MIA.
Needless to say, it’s a peculiar phenomenon. And one that I didn’t even realize was a recurring pattern in my life until last week, when yet again, I “lost” my ring. Only this time when it undoubtedly resurfaced, the irony of this ring and scenario suddenly hit me.
You see, there is one sort of special thing about my ring… it has the word “love” engraved on it.
That’s it. Just a plain, gold-painted band with four little letters. So simple, yet meaningful. So obvious, yet often overlooked. So delicate, yet frequently mishandled. Four little letters that aren’t much on their own, but when placed together, are everything.
As I scooped up my beloved ring in my hand, a small smile spread across my face as the word “love” stared back at me.
So this is love, huh? Sometimes we display it proudly on our hand for all the world to see, and other times we accidentally place it at the bottom of our smelly gym bags, hiding it from the rest of society. Sometimes we can physically hold love in our hands, it’s that undeniably clear. And other times we lose it for a second, minute, hour, day, month, perhaps even years, until all of a sudden, it just magically reappears.
Maybe we have to have this on again, off again; lost it, found it; disheartened, overjoyed relationship with love to truly understand and appreciate it. Maybe we need to lose love every now and then in order to experience the joy and gratitude of rediscovering it.
Maybe this teaches us to be more careful with our love and where we place it so that next time it comes around, we know how to better care for and handle it.
And maybe, after we search through all these lost and found boxes, maybe then we learn to love beyond physical barriers, without expectations, and with no money-back guarantees, so that we can finally discover that unconditional love we so desperately seek.
I’m not sure why my cheap, little gold-painted ring suddenly decided to speak to me, after all, these years, but I’m certainly glad it did because now I know that even when it’s not physically present, even when I can’t find it, even when I’m 100 percent sure I’ve totally lost it, it’s still there. Love is always there.