What is love?
Normally the question brings to mind the lyrics of Caddaway’s pop-song: “What is love? Baby don’t hurt me…”
Love has been tested in the hardest laboratory of all, the human heart. And we still seem to know so little about it. Why does it make us get so crazy? Why would we do almost anything for someone we are in love with?
Why do we only say “I love you” to a select trusted few and not the random people we encounter throughout the day?
Yet, despite its many mysteries, uncovering the heart of love is like uncovering some of the world’s grooviest forgotten music. To love is to celebrate the existence of another human being, to affirm them and delight in them. You’re just so glad they are who they are. You can’t stop thinking about them.
Love is not the same thing as sex.
It isn’t the same thing as attachment and it is not at all the same thing as lust. It’s more pervasive and panoramic. It encompasses the whole personality of the beloved. It can bless and encourage.
It can broaden and set free.
Love can take many forms. From familial love to friendship, from summer love to marital love, love is a multifaceted diamond.
So what does it mean when you say “I love you” to someone else?
Ultimately, the question is answered in what kind of person we are. In short, love means different things to different people. This is because love is a verb: it has to be lived. If we are self-seeking and self-centered, our love will be self-seeking and self-centered.
If we are generous and grateful, our love will likewise be freely given and thankfully given. If we are people of words, our love will be layered in a rich tapestry of words. If we are doers, our love will be a domino effect of one good and loving deed after another.
What love is depends on who is doing the loving.
So what kind of lovers will we be today? We can reshape our love-life this very hour, if we never settle for less and strive for the best. Never stop saying “I love you”. And truly mean it when you say it. You know when it’s real.
Sherri Rosen has her own publicity firm in NYC for over 12 years giving a powerful voice to people who are doing wonderful things in the world. She also writes for Gatekeeper’s Post, The Good Men Project, Her own blog, Redhead’s Blog, Triiibes, along with the wonderful elephant journal. You can friend her on Facebook and Twitter.
Editor: Carolyn Gilligan