People say that Love is an emotion.
Love is so much more.
Love is a way of living. Actually, it is THE way.
I believe Love is the force of all creation. When I speak of love, I’m not talking about romance. Romance is a compulsion to get people together so they will pro-create. I’m not talking about infatuation or needing to be with someone because they make you feel better about yourself. Some people think they are “in love” with a person but what they are really in love with is the way that person makes them feel, usually about themselves. Others say they “love” a person but what they really love is the sense of safety and security that the person gives them. Love isn’t about how someone makes us feel about ourselves. It’s not about “feeling” good, because if it were, it would be impermanent. If it’s impermanent, it’s not love. It’s something else disguised as love.
Love is an eternal connection that may or may not involve sexual interaction. Love is the spirit energy of life itself. Love is the light of the world and without that light, life on earth would have ended long ago. In essence, Love is the author of life, the source of faith and without it, hope is squelched.
Now faith is the substance (foundation, elemental make-up) of things hoped for, the evidence (proof) of things not yet seen. Faith works on the principle of Love and Love casts out all fear. If we are made perfect in Love we are not acting in fear. If we are acting out of fear, then we are not acting from a center of Love. Fear has to do with punishment. I have heard it said that there are only two true motivators for every human act: love or fear.
Some would argue that greed, violence and the struggle for power are not motivated by fear, but they are. If a person feels the need to keep getting more and more and more material possessions then ultimately he or she has a deep rooted fear of not having enough, not being powerful, etc. All acts of narcissism and selfishness are rooted in some realm of fear; fear of disrespect, fear of lack, fear of death, fear of disapproval, fear of abandonment, fear of being powerless, fear of physical harm, etc. Fear compels us to harm others, to manipulate others and to try to control others.
Love, however, is fearless. Love is God and God is Love. God doesn’t “have” love. God IS love. Those are not my original words. They were written by a man named John, the same guy who said that perfect love casts out all fear. So when we live by the principles of Love, we live by the principles of God.
What are those principles? We have Paul’s account in I Corinthians 13. We have other accounts in other books, too. Here they are in my own words.
WHEN YOU ACT FROM LOVE….
*you never give up on a person or a dream. You may have to walk away sometimes in order to protect your other loved ones or even your own life, because you do have to love and care for yourself, forgive yourself and be kind to yourself (think of it as putting the oxygen mask on yourself first when a plane is going down so you can be alive to help save the person with you.) Walking away doesn’t mean you’ve stop caring; only that you have to think about others and is sometimes as much or more an act of love as staying.
*you don’t wish “bad” on others
*you don’t want what others have or plot to take it
*you don’t think yourself more deserving or better than others
*you don’t force yourself on others. Real love, real respect, doesn’t push itself on people.) Respect them enough to walk away or let go and not keep pushing on them until they react the way you think they should.
* you aren’t arrogant and need everything to be all about you and your needs or wants. Believe in yourself and seek to do your best but don’t expect or wish for others to pat you on the head and tell you how wonderful you are.
*you don’t brag about how great you are.
*you don’t always assume that your needs are the most important and insist on being first all the time.
*you aren’t quick to get angry and fly off the handle or throw a fit every time something doesn’t go your way or when people don’t give you what you want.
*you don’t plot revenge on people or seek to socially destroy them even when they don’t do what you want or even if they do something that “hurts” you. Remember that they may not be very spiritually advanced and pray for them to be able to ‘see.’
*you don’t constantly bring up someone’s short-comings or past mistakes.
*you don’t try to guilt people into behaving the way you want them to or doing what you want them to. I’ve heard so many people pull the “if you really loved me you’d________) card.”
*you don’t take pleasure in the downfall of others, even those who have been unkind to you.
*you are glad when someone or yourself learns true things, receives beautiful things or has a joyful experience. Celebrate in the successes of others.
*you rejoice with those who rejoice. Weep with those who weep.
*you look for the best in others and see the best in all situations.
*you don’t look back. The past is over. The future is out of sight. Make today the best it can be.
*you keep going. Never give up on yourself, your dreams and never give up on others.
*treat everyone with dignity, basic human respect and compassion
THIS IS LOVE.
Love doesn’t force people to bend to its will, doesn’t manipulate them into conforming, guilt them into acting, intimidate them into surrender, interrogate them into sorrow or dismiss them into despair. Love simply accepts people as they are and asks nothing in return. Love has not strings attached and no covert contracts.