While I am not a holy roller – I do remember reading this quote and hearing it at practically at all of the weddings I attended as a child. It has stayed with me all of my life and a friendly reminder now and then is always helpful.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love – it’s a loaded word. Take a second to see what it conjures in your mind and body.
Expression of Love
Expressing love comes in many forms, a kind word, a sentimental gift, an ear for listening intently, visiting a friend in need, a gentle caress on someone’s hand, a passionate kiss and sharing your body. Accepting someone as they are is a great gesture of love. This doesn’t mean that you accept harmful actions from this person. Expressing love ought to leave you feeling elated and renewed. If we are giving love from the vantage point of being selfless we are free from the angst of having to get something back. Some folks have a hard time with this concept. Giving love for the sake of giving to someone in need, unconditionally can evoke the warm and fuzzies. Yes there are plenty of do-gooders in the world and some of them are truly serving the community, but there are those that use this as a mask, thinking that good deeds will absolve them from the past or something that may happen in the future. This is getting into an entirely different topic, but it’s worth mentioning.
Speaking of Love brings to mind the 3 types of love in greek – Agape, Eros & Philos. Agape is that unconditional love – we give to give with no attachment to the outcome. Eros is a physical attraction, intense sexual attraction to another which can turn into something deeper, but not necessarily. Philos is the brotherly, sisterly love that we share a special bond with. A healthy marriage will most probably encompass all of these types of love. Let’s face it looks and sex are one of the first things to go in a relationship if there is nothing substantial behind it, will it survive… Don’t get me wrong – sex can be an incredible healing and bonding tool in a relationship, but true commitment requires devotion. Anyhooch, moving right along.
Self love is not to be confused with being narcissistic or selfish. Sometimes it requires that we practice selfless selfishness. Sometimes we need to protect ourselves from things or people that do not have our best interest at heart. An example – you find yourself in a relationship (could be a friend or lover) where they hold all the cards. The conversations start or stop when they want them to, you see them when they want to, they have little regard for what you need or want. In other words you are taking a back seat to seat to their needs. If we do not speak up or stick up for ourselves it’s our own fault. We may choose to keep these people in our lives. The lack of reciprocity will eventually erode the bond. Self Love says I will do what I can, but will not sacrifice my well being for it.
There are times when we require that someone give it to us straight between the eyes. It can be delivered with a velvet glove or a full-blown sock in the face. Accepting tough love takes a teaspoon of courage, a cup of humility and a heap of self-love. You can’t be sure when it’s going to come, but if you are asking for help with a situation you’re stuck in – be prepared. Some of us are more sensitive than others -accepting tough love requires that we trust the person dispensing it and that the delivery has some tough and love in equal measure.
If there are battle scars on your heart, join the club. Not to sound insensitive, but healing is not for wimps. True healing is one of the greatest lessons we can learn in this life. One of the biggest keys to healing is forgiveness. Forgiveness encompasses Love, honesty, awareness, letting go, assuming responsibility where one needs to and acceptance. Without these ingredients healing becomes a mire of self pity and victim hood.
In order to receive love our hearts need to be open, even if it’s just ajar. Our minds need to be discerning. We need a combination of courage and faith. We must also believe that we are worthy of the love we are receiving. Which goes back to self-love.
Children are a great example of people that know how to receive love. They seek approval from their parents and those around them. If they come from loving homes they are very discerning about who wishes to bestow love or malice. Children have the knack of giving you a hug, kiss or a smile just when you need it the most. I hope we can remember that when interacting with children – they are beacons of hope and love. Let’s make sure we nurture this beautiful part of children – they are the future.
I could go on and on – Hope this leaves you with a glow and a little illuminated.
Ciao for Now