I must say, I can probably add to this till my last breath! But for now, this will do!
An eternal stinging question: What is true love?
I believe it is the most powerful force in this world.
God is love. It was no man or woman that put love in your heart, but God. He is the one and only sustainer of pure true unconditional love. However, for many that is a relationship that takes years to develop and a journey of self-discovery and experiences (or shall I say, mistakes?)
However, nowadays, it is simply an overused word without pertaining qualities. Some men have fought battles for love, others have killed in the name of it.
I do not think anyone fully grasps what love truly is, for many it is a mere emotion characterized by mainstream ideals and romantic movies and to others, it is a way of living. What is for sure, many people define it according to their personal experiences, which unfortunately are quite pessimistic due to the lack of “happy endings” assumed at the start. Nevertheless, it is always wise to know what love is NOT to the least.
Love is NOT
Love does not have to hurt, at least not all the time, that is unless you are loving the wrong person and/or you are in a toxic relationship. What is painful is lust, passion, and being overly attached to someone.
Love does not have to end in heart break. The reason for heart break is betrayal. Or losing your beloved (which can surely be viewed in a different light).
Love does not mean you must be together. Just as marriage does not guarantee your love and commitment for one another.
Love is not possessive, yet this is quite the paradox because for the majority the more you “love” the person, the more you tend to become obsessive and possessive.
Love is not jealousy. If you trust yourself and are sure of your beloved’s faithfulness you would not be boiling your blood over who checks him/her out. You would know they are yours and you are lucky you have them; heart, mind, soul, and body.
Love is not cynical. It is not self-serving. It does not serve one’s best interest.
Love is not the rapid heart beats, the butterflies in your stomach, or the sudden feeling of being ecstatically alive. Although it may feel great to feel that revival especially if you haven’t in years- love is no fleeting nor passive emotion.
Love cannot be forced. You can’t tell yourself to love someone when you don’t. This is generally harder as well when you’ve outgrown each other.
Love cannot coexist with fear. When fear arises, love subsides. Fear is nothing but a mere illusion you must attack. Especially the fear of yielding to emotions. It is only our nature to want to avoid getting hurt…but if you do so, you shall never grow. For we grow out of sorrow and grief and even love going wrong can be for your own good.
Love cannot exist without respect.
Love cannot be or flourish without trust.
Love is not about romance. That can fade away and it really in the end depends on the person’s character.
Love doesn’t know pride.
Love knows no age, no race, no religion, no ethnicity, no sex, and no martial status.
Love does not try to change the beloved into any ideal.
Love sees no imperfections, or at least overlooks them as minor- it highlights the good.
Love is not “needing” the person. When your love for the person, outweighs your need for him/her that is the best relationship.
Love is not for the weak.
So now, a few basics to the essence of true love and what it IS.
First, there is the evident distinction between love and lust, that many young folks do not see at the beginning. Lust is a mere hormonal response to a physical desire, it can however come as love in disguise. Yet, it wears out in a few months or years. By then, many have found themselves in relationships/marriages with kids and stick through it “for them”. Of course, when you have love coupled with lust…what a passionate heavenly union 😉
Love is doing the beloved right, by choice.
Love is freedom. That goes back to the point of love not being jealous or possessive- when you are sure that your love is true you can leave all your doors and windows open and you will be sure your mate will never go astray.
Love is ACTING with integrity and dignity towards the beloved. It is wishing him/her happiness and wellness, even if it means without YOU.
Love is a connection beyond words.
Love is mutual understanding and support.
Love listens with the heart not just the ears.
Love is honest. Lies leave no room for love or growth in a relationship. Lies break trust and thus love.
Love is faithful. With true love, faithfulness comes as no burden.
Love is patient and tolerant.
Love is enhancing your beloved’s life and helping them grow to the better, meanwhile embracing their true selves.
Love is forgiveness. You cannot love with unforgiveness in your heart.
Love is letting your guard down and allowing yourself to be vulnerable to intimacy. Intimacy is both emotional and sexual. You break down your walls and peel off your layers and you hand your true authentic self to each other.
Love heals. The cure to a broken heart, is indeed, to love more.
True love chooses you, you do not choose it. It comes when you least expect it and you’re busy focused on YOURSELF.
Love can come in intensities and it is a process; for love takes a degree of openness and intimacy that one ALLOWS to happen.
Love is expression in ACTIONS and not just words.
Love takes practice. The more you PRACTICE loving, the greater your ability becomes to be open, and thus, you will have more aptitude to love.
Sometimes, you can learn to love, if you pick a right candidate with similar beliefs, values, and priorities in life. Love, just as everything else is primarily mental, you fall for someone that compensates your unmet needs or suits your subconscious criteria, which many of you are unaware of to begin with. Add to that the physical attraction of course, if the chemistry is present you are more willing to love the person.
The greatest love of all can happen in an instantaneous connection, which makes all the rational choices of avoidance seem to vanish. You know you will love this person the minute you lay your eyes in one another’s. You simply feel as though his/her eyes were the gateway that dragged your soul into theirs.
To love is to give, sometimes even when it hurts- for it is an act of self-giving; you offer a part of you be it through emotional energy or actions of care and affection. Even when you do not receive as much as you give, you are in total self-release.
True love never ends. Some people will stay in your heart forever, although not in your life.
Love realizes that people outgrow each other at points and that opens doors to greater loves later.
Love entails a number of GENUINE AND PRINCIPLED QUALITIES towards oneself and others.
Love is a friendship of a lifetime!
Love is an active emotion, that exists naturally, and thus, when true is very easy to maintain. Passion however is what takes hard work to sustain, as it needs to be revived over and over. Same applies to romance, but not everyone is of romantic nature!
Love always wants to be exposed, reciprocated, and cultivated. It goes against our every instinct as humans to quash it. When one is forced to suppress love it eventually turns into anger and bitterness; consequently that love transforms and crosses the fine line between it and another passion leading to hate.
Love equates your happiness and sadness. You become mirrors of one another, interdependent and never separate (that is why I will never understand the spouses that remain with their husbands/wives when they are aware their partners cannot grow with them, let alone, are miserable. You would never be able to bear restricting their hearts and seeing them miserable if it was true love! If it meant they will be happier without you, you would let go. You would not force them to stay cause YOU supposedly “love” him/her. That is anything BUT love.) Yet, it knows strength, one one is down, no matter how affect the other partner becomes, the other lifts him/her up and vice versa. When happiness is shared, it goes beyond words to explain the joy. It becomes a light that spreads within you from mind to toe.
The hardest lesson of love, and that is its true essence: letting go. This is not easy because we love to be loved. We cling to the need to belong and feel appreciated. To love is to let go. Sometimes letting go simply means loving yourself more! The fact is, you cannot keep what wants to go. You can only love what you have while you got it. Don’t forcefully harvest what never did or can no longer exist- you’re dooming your future for good! Your destiny is never tied to those that wish to part you.
When someone chooses to part you with peace and honesty, sometimes even happily, let them go. This is them doing you right. If you insist on fighting for him/her, it’s no longer a fight for love, it’s a fight for your own belief that you “need” the person and for your individual obsession. In love, it takes two to fight, not one. Remember, love is being happy together- you become the reason for each other’s happiness; and it is not the possession of each other’s happiness for your personal sake or gain.
The Many Types of Love And The Self-Love Deficit
There are many forms of love; Divine love, friendship love, passionate love, lustful/erotic love, motherly/unconditional love,…personally minus the Divine love for God alone- you can feel all the others without conditions and selflessly towards another. However, you truly need to be fulfilled as a person. I have felt all for one special person at a point and let me tell you, unless you love the person for his/her sake, wellbeing, and happiness- and that only, love can easily destroy you. Why? Because sadly many people today think love is a compensation for a self-love deficit. They end up needing the person more than loving him/her. Love today is anything but selfless. When you have an honest inner world, a sure self, and a big compassionate heart, you can love a person with your all and the most purest sense and not ask them of anything or necessitate they be beside you.
Recognize that true love cannot compensate for a self-love deficit. One must learn to love him/herself unconditionally prior to loving someone else. Everything begins and ends with you; value and love yourself, then you would have a whole lot more to give to another. It is easier said than done. But remember: once you find yourself putting a restrain to or having to limit the amount of care and affection you can give a certain person, then it isn’t love after all!
Staying open to true love is not about attracting a relationship or trying to find someone to fill a void within you, you can be single and fall in love every day! Living with an open heart and soul, living with and by love is simply about being open to life and actually living.
Love should not be restricted to the constraints of anyone or anything. If it is real it is yours, even long after the relationship is over, or even if it is love that is not supported by society’s nuptial laws. It is a soul union most people will not grasp except the two person’s involved. The difficulty lies in distinguishing between what is sincere mutually. It is all worth exploring, for love comes in many sorts, most definitely not just the storybook versions- it most certainly does not end in marriage for most because many people are not patient enough and end up settling for anything that resembles love.
I have also come to find that martial relationships are not based on unconditional love, there are always conditions within the marriage that the spouses vow to uphold. Many marriages today become mere forced responsibilities to sustain for rearing children in stable homes, not necessarily healthy or happy ones either. Almost everyone I know today is still in their marriage “for their children”. The only unconditional love I have witnessed is between a mother and her baby/child and a dog or horse and it’s master. Although, I see many mothers today that do not recognize that unconditionally loving your child means allowing them the room to grow and not clinging to them as your belongings and only reason to be and live.
Finally, I believe the message behind every experience and thing in life is love. Even suffering. When you realize and allow the power of true love to overflow within you, no matter the hurt you endure along your journey, you become unbreakable. You live to love, that is the lesson of life.
When you only allow love in your heart, you leave no room for hate. You may have haters in your life just as anyone else, especially if you are successful and/or envied for whatever traits others see they lack, but your heart will be so big you cannot hate back 🙂 I tell you, that is the greatest way to live! With peace and love within no matter who tries to sabotage you.