Tweaked your interest? I bet it’s not any four-letter word that came to mind. My four-letter word that defines so much is:
L O V E.
It’s a word that is used way too much; in instances where it doesn’t belong. It’s been misinterpreted, misaligned, misused, and disrespected.
It is that elusive feeling every living man, woman, child and creature searches for, yearns for, and would do almost anything to find it, keep it, and have it for always.
Love. What’s love got to do with it? Everything would be my answer. Without love we’re incomplete, we’re alone in our aloneness. Without love we wander without direction. Without love human beings tend to feel unloved, unworthy, unapproachable, disconnected, disenchanted, unfulfilled, and alone.
I’m not exaggerating, nor are these my sentiments, but they are those of many who feel that love has eluded them, even for those who have lived in a union with another. Love is that invisible thread that connects us, holds us and unites us.
I’m here to tell you that love is there for all of us. It’s there for the taking. It just may come differently than you anticipated. How many of us have made lists, real or in our heads, defining what that perfect “other” would be? A lot of us I would venture to guess.
Love doesn’t just happen. Of course, it may in those early days when all it took was a look and you’d find yourself alive, tingling, and soon to be undone. That could probably be better defined as another four-letter word: lust.
Love, however, has a much deeper, more profound meaning. It’s not a salutation at the end of a letter, nor does it mean hello and goodbye like the Hebrew, shalom. It’s not a frivolous word. The overuse and misuse of the word “love” has minimized it and trivialized it. It is not to be trifled with; its potency is way too strong for that.
So, the first order of the day is to use the word only when you mean the word. Webster defines love as: “a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person, and as “a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.”
Most importantly, however, is how we nurture love in a relationship with another. Because, just having love doesn’t mean you deserve to keep love.
I reiterate first and foremost, that love is a universal desire, and although it seems unattainable for so many, it is not. It’s there for the taking. It may not come in the wrappings you envisioned, but if you open your eyes, truly open your eyes, you’ll see love, because it truly is all around you.
For me, love is not something one is lucky to find. To find true love one must allow themselves to be vulnerable, because without vulnerability love will remain illusive.
Love has no boundaries. It comes in many guises and once found it needs nourishment to survive. It requires unconditional giving; it needs respect, compassionate understanding, tenderness and devotion in order for love to thrive.
To experience true love one must give fully, with every fiber of their being, and this is the important part, without consideration of remuneration. In other words, giving for the love of giving to the one you love because you love them and for no other reason.
Love is not a game. It’s not one-upmanship. It’s only achievable by openness and honesty. It’s only obtainable by exposing yourself completely. It requires a lifetime of the desire to make one another happy, because without that component communication breaks down; touching becomes non-existent; and then passion falls by the wayside and love will disappear.
I learned all this, and much more, because I was truly loved and I truly loved in return. If you love unconditionally, the little strife’s in each of our lives are not insurmountable because you will have one another to bolster and hold one another up when the going gets tough.
As important as the language of love is among lovers, the converse is perhaps even more important. Name-calling is degrading and wounding and damages the soul.
The feeling of that hurt may dissipate, but the memory of the hurt will remain forever leaving a permanent scar. You cannot take back bad words. They linger on far longer then the cause that created them. In fact, hurtful words have been known to long outlive a relationship.
So, if I leave you with one lasting thought, it would be to still yourself before you speak in anger. The words exclaimed in the heat of the moment can be greatly damaging, and they can never be taken back. All the “I’m sorry’s” piled one upon another will never completely erase the memory of being verbally assaulted even if it was just one time.
Lest you think I’m overstating by use of the word, “assaulted”, think about the last time someone you loved called you something hurtful. Bet you remember it. Bet you felt assaulted.
I’d like to go back to the beginning when I stated: “Without love we’re incomplete, we’re alone in our aloneness. Without love we wander without direction. Without love human beings tend to feel unloved, unworthy, unapproachable, disconnected, disenchanted, unfulfilled, and alone.”
To break it down so I’m not misunderstood, remember first the meaning of love. It is not only the love between lovers, but also that of a parent to a child, and a child to a parent, or the love one feels toward a dear friend, or perhaps even the love one feels toward their pet.
Without the feeling or feelings of love we would feel the sense of loss, of aloneness. We would feel uncertain in our direction as if it had no meaning. Without love, from wherever it comes it would render us uncertain of our own self-worth, because love does matter. It does have everything to do with it.
So, if you have a significant other and you feel unloved, my suggestion would be to give more love. You may be wondrously surprised in the love that comes back your way. If you’re seeking love, don’t try so hard. Be yourself, be loving and treat others with love. A loving person is an aphrodisiac. Don’t laugh, it’s true. Try it you’ll find out.
Be who you are, don’t put on airs or be falsely inquisitive. Be true to who you are and you will reap the benefits. Finally, no one is unworthy of love; no one is incomplete because they aren’t in a loving relationship. It is true, however, that a nurturing, loving bond with another is a wonderfully fulfilling feeling.
But one can have love without being in love. Love, remember comes in many guises. Be willing to open your heart and allow love in. It can happen just by being loving. Treat one another as the Golden Rule proclaims, as you would like to be treated.