For so long I have been struggling to make sense of something that we take for granted. To make sense of and to understand the common interpretation of Love.
I have heard this word ‘Love’ said to me, said at me and said by me for my whole life and still, I am unable to comprehend what is the meaning of the word in relation to the actions of the people around me.
I have always hoped and believed that Love meant that someone thought kindly of me, had my best interests at heart, had time and energy for me and most of all that I was worthy of all of this.
I wanted to believe all of this while noting that even as the words were being said, the actions and intentions fell short.
I have observed many times over the years that love can be a weapon for manipulation, abuse, intimidation, betrayal, guilt and most of all to seduce.
I have experienced the confusion between what I saw and what I had hoped for and believed. Saying you love someone when the intentions and the actions are the opposite, is cruel and confusing, yet we do it every day.
People tell their children they love them yet disable them with fear. Maybe not intentionally, but they do it anyway. They do this by limiting their ability to evolve into strong, healthy and self-sufficient people. Parents call it protection and safety, but the motivation is not love. It is manipulation and self-interest to allow the parents to feel better about their own inadequacies.
Lovers and partners tell each other all the time that they are in Love; describing their relationship as a healthy state of commitment. Yet they dominate, control, bully, abuse, submit, fight, conflict, and resentment. Never once offering or encouraging healthy self-development in themselves or their partner.
In friendship we put on a face that says ‘I love and support you all the way’, yet more often this doesn’t happen. Instead, we idly stand by, watching from the shadows, the pain of the struggle, hoping that this will soon end so that we can all go back to how it was – sweet talk and happy days. No challenges, no discomfort, no involvement and definitely none of my business.
Love is none of these things. I believe Love is the willingness to extend and nurture oneself and the people around you to spiritual growth. To come out from the shadows and to stand up and say enough. To show direction, to be involved and to recognise that we are all in this life together; that we are responsible for each other and it is damn well our business too.
Love is not a feeling. It is not an emotion. It is an action. Genuine Love implies discipline, commitment and the exercise of wisdom. It is a concern for another’s spiritual growth. It is a commitment to an alliance and a thoughtful decision. It is attention to detail when the relationship isn’t beautiful, fun or exciting.
Love transcends all the ephemeral and all the pragmatic. Love transcends all the nonsense and all the deception.
Love is a verb. Love is an action. Love is as Love does.