What is love? A ticklish sensation around the heart that can't be
scratched? Something I earn when I do things right? Something I
give to get something back? My definition is that love is a
willingness to choose to see and respond to the best in another
person, even when they are not experiencing or expressing it
themselves at the moment. This gives you the opportunity to be
loving, no matter what the other is doing! It also requires that
you decide to give up petty (and not-so-petty) judgments of
others and replace that with the willingness to see them in their
best light. Quite a tall order!
Now, how do you recognize love in your life? Do you have a
well-defined way of recognizing love coming to you? Is it "it has
to look, sound, feel like this or it isn't love"? Or, are you
open to seeing, hearing and feeling love in many forms? You can
miss a lot of love in your life if you have a narrow, restricting
perception of which form is acceptable to you.
How do you express love in your life? Familiar quotes worthy of
bringing into application are "Work is love made visible."
"Works, not words, are proof of love." and "Service is nothing
more than love in work clothes." Consider your expressions of
love. Do your words match your actions? Do you say you'll do
something for another but "forget" regularly? Are you willing to
match your walk with your talk? It seems to me to be a waste of
energy to spend much valuable time talking about what I'm going
to do, or what I think I should do, when I could be using that
time for doing it!
Love also looks a lot like time. When we say we love someone, or,
for that matter, that we love to do something, the proof is often
in the time we spend with the person or the time we spend doing
the activity, isn't it? When I was seeing many couples in my
counselling practice, I would often hear the pain as one partner
expressed their loneliness, saying, "You do not spend time with
me." The demonstration of love means spending time with those you
say you love, doesn't it? We've all seen or heard stories about
parents who were too busy and missed their children's childhoods.
Regretting it later is not nearly as effective as doing it now!
Remember, too, that you cannot give a gift you do not have. Be
loving to yourself. Spend time with yourself. Know what you enjoy
and do it! It is also important to have good communication skills
so that you can communicate to others clearly when you think they
are being unloving to you. I think it is unloving to allow others
to be unloving to you. We are responsible for teaching people how
to treat us! If you do not say anything, you are telling them it
is all right with you.
IMPORTANT: If love makes the world go round, we'd better do our
bit because the world is turning at 2,000 miles per hour, and
we'd get quite a jolt if it stopped.