It’s a simple, four-letter word that is as essential to our lives as air, food, and water. Love can mean so many things: a warm affection for someone, admiration, attraction, attachment, devotion. It can also be a term of endearment or an unselfish, benevolent concern for others, or for all of humanity. It can even be a force in the universe, a wavelength we can tune to.
There are many different kinds of love:
- Sexual love
- Romantic love
- Brotherly love (or platonic friendship)
- Maternal or paternal love
- An inner drive or passion for something (love of the woods, love of golf)
- Spiritual or “holy” love (love from spiritual being like Allah, God, Buddha or the universe, or the devotion one feels for that force)
- Puppy love (or crushes)
- Self love (or self esteem)
As common as the word love is, it is still one of our most prized emotions. And yet, the term love often misused.
For how many of us have heard the phrase, “I’m only doing this because I love you”? Or “If you loved me, you would _____”?
That’s not love. That’s trying to control someone.
Some of us have expectations on love, such as “Love conquers all,” which makes us expect love to fix everything. That creates love or relationship junkies who jump from one relationship to another when the other person won’t fix them.
Whether we were punished or denied something and told it was because of love, controlled by our love for another. Or whether we believed so strongly in love itself that we didn’t want to see what was really going on. Whenever we do something that disrespects ourselves, it erodes our own self esteem and diminishes the experience of love.
I’m not making these statements because I don’t believe in love. I’m a huge fan of love. I write stories about love and have been so graced as to have experienced love in many forms. It has simply been my finding that the experience of love can be so easily diminished by these false ideas we have of it.
Every day, I work to be in a place of love. Whether it’s doing something I love, being with people I love, treating others with love or showing myself respect.
So, today, I want to focus on love. What’s one thing, today, that you love? One way you can feel more loved in your life? What makes you feel loved?