Friday, August 14, 2009

What I Know of Love

I'm not sure what I can add to all that’s ever been written about love. People more articulate and emotionally honest than me have tried to explain what I can barely begin to describe. But it seems to me that love is pervasive, that is, it permeates all of life. Love is what makes life worth living. It’s what gives life purpose and meaning, because love is in our DNA. Love is intrinsically and inexorably a part life.

Love is not so much something we experience as much as something we actively chose to do. Love is the action and interaction of every part of your being. It's not a separate entity. You love with everything you have or it isn't love.

Loves younger impetuous sister, Infatuation, judges all her relationships by how she feels. Love judges hers by what she knows. This knowledge takes time and self-awareness. Within six months Infatuation is bored and on to something else, but love goes deeper.

I have been loved and I am loved, but none of this is my responsibility. My responsibility is how I love, and of this I am confident - the best life is the life lived in love.

So here’s what I know and can say for certain about living in a loving relationship:

1) Patience is important, because not everybody operates the same. People need room to figure things out sometimes and giving them that opportunity is important.

2) My father once told me true religion is kindness. By being kind to each other we give people the room to be human. No one wakes up in the morning and says, "I'm going to make a bad decision today." Kindness demonstrates that you’re not judging them for that.

3) There’s no limit to the number of people who will love you or who you will love in your lifetime. For some reason people have gotten the idea that there's only so much to go around in this world; whether it’s money, popularity, love, or anything else. The idea of scarcity is the root of envy. That’s why envy is so foolish. It’s just plain shortsighted and untrue.

4) No one is better than anyone else. If we’re lucky we accomplish good things in this life – things that hopefully help other people. It’s best not to make a big deal about what you’ve accomplished because it makes other people feel small and artificially inflates you.

5) Try never to be so proud that you can’t admit when you've messed up or say your sorry. This goes a long way.

6) Try to show respect for everyone. Sometimes the lady that cleans the bathroom is the most important person in the company. Rudeness and disrespect are just wrong.

7) Real love is self-less. When you care about someone try to be less egotistical. This isn't easy. It's work, hard work.

8) People get mad too easy. Granted the more things build up the easier it is to fly off the handle. More stuff = bigger explosion. That’s why it’s important not to leave things unsaid. It keeps life much simpler in the long run. Frustration in conversation is better than anger in silence any day. And when you do talk, try to do your best not to yell. There’s too much yelling going on.

9) Loving someone isn't about keeping track. It’s about fresh opportunities.When you start keeping track of things you think someone has done wrong you create a wall even the biggest heart has trouble getting over.

10) To love someone is to be true to that person. When they know they can trust you you take an element out of the mix that sabotages the best of intentions.

11) To love someone means being willing to put in all your effort to protect, trust, hope, and persist - because your heart can’t do otherwise.

By the way, if you’re with someone who can’t (or won’t) do these things . . . it's time to find some one who can [refer to item #3].

© 2009