Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What Is LOVE?

Hello World, I’m Baaaaaaaaaaaack… With a loaded question to boot. I’ve been pondering this thought for a while and as I processed the notion in my mind, I began to ask the question out loud seeking others’ thoughts and opinions. In the midst of one of these Q&A sessions, a trusted friend and mentor made me rethink the question, its true meaning, and whether or not there was an answer.

That being said, I believe there is. I simply think that anything that is felt can be expressed, and anything that is expressed can be defined. It may sound like I am talking in circles, but bear with me.

What better place to start than scripture itself and how the Holy Bible defines love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 reads, Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” Whatever you may believe or subscribe to, I think we can all agree that throughout our lives we have experienced some form of what we believed to be love. Whether it was the feelings you felt towards your parents or siblings, the joys of being a parent watching your child grow, or the fire that burned within when spending time with your significant other. But love far exceeds a relationship with others or mere emotions. Some have fond affections for money, music, possessions, fine art, traveling, certain cuisines, and the list goes on and on, and we have all used the term whole-heartedly and loosely, “I love {fill in the blank}” as a way to describe these affections/feelings/emotions.

But what is love? What is it that stirs that emotion, conjures up those deep-rooted feelings, ignites every sense, and forces us to not only act upon these urges, but also utter the word, LOVE? Love cannot be measured or quantified, contained or subdued, stifled or ignored. It is limitless and boundless and depending on the circumstances, it manifests in a multitude of ways, sometimes simultaneously, and even emerges unexpectedly.

However, the core, the basis of love, will always remain the same. No matter the object of your love, it stems from the giver. Love is something that can be received only when and if it is given. Read that again. Love can only be received when and if it is given. You can’t receive love from a house or a plant, but you can give love to them, nurture them, and help them grow and prosper, thus the house or plant receives love, and so is the same with people and relationships.

If I had to use one word as a parallel or summation of love, it would be selflessness. Simply put, “Love is the willingness to unconditionally give of one self in spite of.” The readiness to put all inward and outward desires aside for the sake of someone else, knowing that it may never be reciprocated or appreciated, but in the end, it will make a positive affect on their lives. It is an outward display of an inward manifestation that demonstrates the givers fervor, zeal, heartiness… LOVE.

This is only one writer’s opinion, notion, and this topic can and will be explored for millenniums to come and hopefully you’ll join me on this journey of exploration into LOVE. There’s plenty more to discuss and I attend to touch on some of it all, but I will leave you with this.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten son….” God, Allah, Yahweh, Elohim, whatever name you choose to use, He is the personification, the epitome, the epicenter and He willingly, without hesitation, forsake, bequeath, His desires and feelings, the one thing, person, that was inimitable, unrivaled, and unparalleled, all for someone else (you and me) so that we may have a better life, be happy, and experience the fullness and riches of life. If that’s not love, then what is?

What is Love to you? How would you define it? Remember, this isn’t just about U or just about Me, but all about We. The only way We grow is if We share, learn from, help, and support each other. Come back soon as we’ll delve deeper into this thing called LOVE.

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