“True love’s kiss? It’s the most powerful thing in the world,” says Prince Robert in the movie, Enchanted. “I knew at once that you were meant for me. Deep in my soul I know that I’m your destiny,” says Princess Mulan. “And from this slumber you shall wake when true love's kiss the spell shall break. For true love conquers all,” sings Merryweather and the chorus of Sleeping Beauty. These are all enchanting words, but what makes a kiss so magical?
A search into the origins of kissing yielded some interesting findings. Not only is a kiss used as a greeting or sign of affection, but it has also been used as a ritual gesture, a sign of peace and a joining of souls. In some cultures, the exhaled breath was considered to be an aspect of one’s soul. So, when two persons sealed their mouths together, the intention was to join their souls.
I was not surprised to learn that in earlier times, only parents kissed their children. Cesare Lombroso, a nineteenth century anthropologist, found that today’s variation of a romantic kiss is rooted in the exchange between a mother and child. Some historians indicate that it began as a mother transferred pre-chewed food into her baby’s mouth.
What’s really in a kiss? According to Sheryl Kirshenbaum, author of The Science of Kissing, studies reveal that “women seemed to be most attracted to the scents of men with an MHC (major histocompatibility complex) distinct from their own. And so when we're kissing, we're in what we call our personal space. It's a perfect opportunity to get that sample and to sense whether this might be a good match for us. And the advantage of that would be, if two people with more genetic diversity in this region got together, their child might be stronger, healthier, have a better immune system, and be more likely to pass on their genes.” Fascinating!
Rarely does anyone consider the gene pool in the search for true love, but we all want the same thing...to love and be loved. It is often our deepest desire to experience a love that connects us at our core, which respects our freedom and promises lasting happiness; a love that extends beyond physical appearance, intelligence and transcends the emotional event of falling in love. It’s a love that evolves over time, enduring change and heartaches.
And then, there’s the love for a child. It was when I held my daughter for the first time that I understood fully the meaning of the words, true love…to love someone so wholly and unconditionally for no reason other than the fact that she exists. To know that I would always cherish her just because—that I’d want to keep her safe and close by for as long as I could. To know that our Creator loves us all just as much—there are no words.
Here's a photo of the two loves in my life sharing a kiss about six years ago.
Love and blessings to you.