Did you know that love is the most powerful word in the English language, yet most of us don’t know what true love really is, much less how to express it?
Did you also know love is the most misused, overused, and abused word? It’s no wonder we’re confused. It does get a little murky. I googled the definition online and love was described as an intense feeling of deep affection for a beloved person, fondness, warmth, attachment, intimacy, strong or constant affection, romantic feelings, sexual desire or attachment, etc. So, how would you define love? Have you ever wondered why we use love to describe our desire for both things and people we love the most? What does it take to love someone or something? Have you ever given it real thought?
To clarify our understanding, let’s investigate what true love isn’t…
For me, love isn’t trading needs in a transaction for something in return, which, in the past always left me feeling empty and riddled with negative feelings such as: obligation, expectations, pressure, guilt, and the owing or payment for some sort of debt. What about you? What isn’t love to you? Most people say love isn’t something that comes and goes or can be bought or sold. Yet, is that how we really behave in a loving relationship? Perhaps some of us might even go as far as to agree that true love is never: fleeting, jealous or possessive, a reward or punishment, withdrawals or ends, earned, traded, tit for tat, a business deal, lust, keeping score, in-love feeling, attachment, rescuing, dependency, control, strings attached, addiction, neediness, fear based, comes from the mind, divides, discrimination, expects a return or payment, builds resentments, uses people for fulfillment, or is based on feelings & emotions at the moment. So, which ones do you agree are not real love?
Let’s now consider what love is…
If we really want a better understanding of true love, to be able to fully experience it, we’ll need to be clear on the meaning of unconditional love. Love is infinite like God, it’s unconditional in nature, and expects nothing is return. Love has no limits, no beginning or ending, and comes to us by grace alone. There’s no cost, or price for love, because it’s freely given. It’s inherently truthful, compassionate, abundant, accepting, and inclusive. So, we must give up seeking love outside ourselves, because we’ll never find it there.
Going a little deeper, love is a spiritual experience that comes from God, deep inside us and flows out into the world.
Real love is like the sun; it radiates out and is independent of any sort of conditions. It doesn’t come from our mind, but rather beyond our mind, thoughts, judgments, emotions, and the 5 physical senses. Because love comes from deep inside us, it’s always about our goodness we offer to others and it’s not about someone outside of us nor about their behavior. Thus, we can’t possibly earn something that’s free and comes from within; otherwise, it would no longer be love, right? Isn’t it a relief to know that we don’t have to earn love?
Looking at what God says about love reveals the truth…
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. Love never fails. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love, Corinthians 13:4-8, 13. This description perfectly expresses God’s love toward us as His children. Have you ever felt true unconditional love? Do you love yourself and others this way?
Why not get started today by committing to loving yourself no matter what? Once your cup is overflowing, you won’t be looking outside yourself for someone or something to fill you up, fix you, or complete you. When your heart is full, the love inside you will naturally and abundantly flow out into the world for all to receive. So, just open your heart and look inside; you’ll be amazed.
“If you judge people, you’ll have no time to love them.” Mother Teresa
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About the Author – Trina Carroll-Houk is a spiritual teacher, counselor, and founder of Breaking Free Boundaries, LLC who specializes in self-awareness, mindfulness, and the spiritual dimension of being. Her goal is to help people improve their quality of life so they can experience inner peace, meaningful purpose, and fulfillment. Trina represents a movement focused on helping people release what limits them from transforming into awakened beings with a higher sense of spiritual consciousness.
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