What is Love?

Our world around us is becoming increasingly more sick as each day passes. I believe that it has a lot to do with the very simple fact that we do not understand the true meaning of love. Yet we are convinced that we know what love is and means. When we talk about love we seem to view it as this reeling rapture event that lasts a few years,months or even days and in general it it based on someones or somethings appearance or if they meet our every need. They are so beautiful or they are so intelligent, strong and have more money than Rockefeller. In an ongoing quest for perfection in ourselves as well as in others.

Somehow in all of this we avoid talking about the kind of love that would give true light to all of these. We are continuesly surrounded by examples of love such as love at first sight, destructive love, tragic love, and sentimental love. These ideas of love can foster unrealistic ideas about love such as … somehow our soulmates must anticipate our deepest needs without us even having to voice them, relationships should not have to be worked on, wanting our partners or loved ones to change their values, and or they should always feel the same way we do.

Perhaps what we should instead be doing is going on a quest to learn how to love. Which is why I think it is important to take a closer look at what it really means to love. Here are seven possible ingredients to what what love might actually be.

The Seven Ingredients to Love ( love redefined )

Charity Love

Charity love above anything else means benevolence and gentleness towards what is failed, disgraced, broken, unappealing and foul in other people and in ourselves. Love is not about the most beautiful, the strongest or most perfect. It is about directing our sympathy and adoration in a most unexpected direction. At the imperfect, messed up, lost and in pieces and at what we might hate, resent or be frightened of.

Anyone can express an interest in perfection but to love is to devote an act of charity to the mistakes made with adoration. One day no matter who we are we will all require an act of charity from others, we will be the ones on our knees. We will need someone to look past our evident failings and the disasters that we are in that moment in a tender search for our deeply hidden merits and positive attributes.

To Love with Immagination

Loving with imagination is to look beneath the surface where there may be transgression, brittleness, rage, and cynicism. To picture the suffering and pain that brought this person to this place. To love with imagination is to fill in the puzzle pieces as to why this person is behaving the way that they are. Imaginative love knows that we are all somewhere desperate, it seeks out that desperation and treats it with a sorrowful gentleness.

Kindness

With all of the fighters for social justice, so many people determined to make the world a better place and denouncing our enemies all the while we feel certain about our cause. But along the way we have forgotten to be kind. In our denouncing of the evils of others we have left out mercy, humility, tenderness and grace.It is truly not enough to be right, or to be kind. It is to know that even the ones who have gone against us deserve ongoing mercy and some sympathy. It is never simply because someone is wrong that we have any right to stop showing them kindness.

Forgiveness

To forgive is to know and except that we are in our own way just as guilty as the next person. Knowing that each of us is nor perfect and in our own way we have all done things in which we are not proud of.We have all failed in some way and been less than admirable. Given this fact we have to cut each other some slack. Forgiveness keeps no records of wrongs done to us and forgives comprehensively. We should look deep within ourselves , quiet the self righteous beasts inside and learn to forgive.

Loyalty

Being loyal to those we love, even to ourselves. For example if everyone in the crowd turns against someone we love we do not turn weak and follow the crowd. We stand steadfast and stand up for who and what we believe in with a unbudgeable resilient faith. Loyalty means being the same supportive, loving human being whether your with your partner or loved one in the same room or not. Not talking mad smack behind their backs or saying things to anyone that can be viewed as inappropriate. Loyalty values honesty above everything else. It is about consistency and doing the right thing while having faith that your partner or loved one is doing the same thing.

Generosity

Love overflows and it is not about showing love just your family and close friends. It is about showing love even to a complete stranger, the earth, animals, plants and insects. Yes even to spiders.. Have the capacity to be uncommonly generous especially in the moments when they may be less than appealing. Not just in the beginning of our relationships should we generous with our time and attention but to do our best to make it a common practice each day.

Patience

In a world of instant gratification patience can be difficult. We want our needs to be met right now. But true love means giving ourselves and those around us the time to mature and develope. To go in the wrong direction and wander there for awhile without screaming at them because we know it is not the direction for them. Allowing them to grow at their own pace. Loving with patience means love is not easy, it takes work consistently. It takes time, growth and appreciation for one another. Be patient with yourself and with others.

Final Thoughts

If we can believe wholeheartedly in some of the above ingredients of love it will not matter who we vote for, what political party we belong to, or what our cause is we ourselves can be added to what is helping and positive in this world. Have we not had enough already of allowing everything to tear us apart? We tear ourselves apart because we are not perfect and in turn we begin to tear others apart because they are not perfect. By now as a society we should be almost finished with the unrealistic notions about what we think the perfect love is. We should instead be focusing on starting our paths to what it truly means to be human and what it truly means to love.

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