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July 29, 2019

Defining “Love”

What is love?

Why, as human beings, do we often hurt those we love most? In these moments, are we feeling love? We have very little difficulty extending love to pets- why is it that we have a much harder time doing the same with our parents, children, partners?

Why- as humans- do we “keep score” with those we love? Why do we try to get even with those we love? Why would we say or do something to hurt someone (this could come in the form of put-downs, sparking jealousy, attempting to make someone feel “less than”, etc.), if we love them?

The answer I arrived at is this: love doesn’t fade. It doesn’t go away. It is not even a feeling. Love is a choice. At any moment, we can choose to love. We can choose right now, today, in this moment, to love one another.

Romance can fade. Infatuation can fade. Sometimes, neither of these things fade. Very often, the feelings of attraction and chemistry can linger on.

But LOVE is none of the above.

Love is a feeling of deep caring for another human being. Love is friendship. Love is wanting what is best for someone else. Love is acceptance. Love is understanding. Love is wanting another person to be happy. Love is patience. When we truly love, there is no desire or intention to cause any kind of suffering.

Very often, when we distance ourselves from those we love, it is not because we have stopped loving. It is because we feel a doubt, fear, or worry. We may not know how to express it. We may not fully even understand what we are feeling or why we are feeling it. We might just simply feel that something is wrong- our bodies, hearts and souls feel it and we may not know why. Or perhaps we feel that in order to love another properly, we need to work on loving ourselves first.

We can not expect to withdraw money from a bank if there is none there to be given. Similarly, we can not give love deeply or effectively if we have not cultivated it inside of ourselves- if we have not healed past wounds, resolved our own issues, etc.

For those of you who are also on a journey of self-love, please remember this:

Be kind to yourself.
Do not close yourself off from your heart.
Do not blame yourself, beat yourself up, or speak harsh words to yourself.

We are all human. Our weirdness, our flawed-ness, our broken hearts… this is our common denominator as a human species. Our crazy, wild, broken, often untrustable, crooked hearts are not discriminatory. They do not see race, color, gender or religion. They are our equalizer.

My goal is to continue being gentle and caring with myself, and to cultivate love inside of myself so that I have the capacity to truly give it, unconditionally.

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