How many times a day do we say I loooove this or looooove that. We even say I love you to our loved ones, often but not always affectionately or with meaning but just out of habit.
In celebration of St. Valentines day, a day which is now merely a day of expecting gifts and dinners, let’s look at what love really is. Published on Huffingtonpost a few years ago, it resonates with me in such a profound way, I thought I’d share it with
1. Love means saying goodbye to expectations.
Expectations are just your requirements for “acceptability” of loving someone. But true love has no expectations. It simply loves “as is.”
2. Love doesn’t play the victim role or blame others.
Love works together. It takes responsibility. It forgives and allows other people’s actions to be their journey. Love doesn’t take things personally.
3. Love includes letting go.
Love allows people their freedom. It doesn’t hold tightly and crush their wings in attempt to keep them. True love doesn’t want to possess. It is willing to set you free if you want to be.
4. Love doesn’t require you to continue a relationship.
You may love someone very much, but you may not be compatible with them. Or they may drive you crazy with their continued disregard for your feelings. You can still love them, but that doesn’t mean you have to be with them. Love doesn’t mean that you have to stay, and stay and stay. You can leave the relationship and love them anyway.
5. Love has no room for jealousy.
True love has confidence in the quality of the relationship. It knows that the other person is happy and content coming back to you and only you.
6. Love is the absence of fear.
You can put all emotions on a continuum. On one end, you have love. Then appreciation. After that, it’s joy, happiness, contentment and satisfaction. On the opposite end of the continuum of love is fear. Other fear-based emotions include, hatred, insecurity, jealousy or greed.
7. Love is not needing, but wanting.
Needing someone is a feeling based in fear. You fear that you can’t live without them, so you need them. And remember, fear is the opposite of love. Wanting someone in your life gives them the freedom to leave, but still shows them you love them.
8. Love is an action, not just a feeling.
Humans tend to be addicted to intense emotion — especially when it feels good. So, when we’re in love, we want to feel that way forever. But guess what? That higher than “Cloud 9” feeling goes away after a while. That doesn’t mean you don’t love the other person anymore, it just means that it’s not new anymore. So that’s where the action needs to kick in. Show the person you love them. Don’t just assume they know.
9. Love is unconditional.
The word “unconditional” means that there are no expectations or limitations set. To love unconditionally is a difficult thing, and most humans aren’t good at that. But true love really does love without trying to change the other person.
10. Love means putting other people’s needs equal to — or before — your own.
Real love truly, genuinely cares about other people’s happiness and will go to great lengths to make people feel valued.
11. Love requires attention.
Love doesn’t ignore. It doesn’t look the other way. It wants to be present and be together. When people are in love, sometimes they think that they don’t have to “do any more work.” But real love actually enjoys giving attention to another person. It feels good, and doesn’t see giving attention to another person as a chore.
12. Love understands and accepts differences.
Let’s face it: We’re all different. Even identical twins aren’t exactly the same. They have different experiences and outlooks about the world. Real love doesn’t make other people wrong for being different. When people truly love another person, they accept their differences.
13. Love varies in how it is expressed and accepted.
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, he explains the different ways people give and receive love: (1) Words (2) Acts of Service, (3) Giving Gifts, (4) Spending Time Together and (5) Touch. It’s important to discover other people’s love language so you can understand each other and give love in a way that the other person recognizes it.
14. Love makes you feel good, not bad.
Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean there is true love present. If there is jealousy, possessiveness, constant fighting, abuse (verbal, emotional or physical), that is not love. Refer back to #6. Those are fear-based emotions and actions.
15. Love has empathy.
Empathy is the ability to put yourself in another person’s shoes and see a situation from his/her point of view. Love has deep empathy. “When you hurt, I hurt.” People who truly love one another don’t want to hurt them. They want them to feel good. They care about their feelings and try everything they can to make them feel valued and worthy.
Remember, love is happiness, appreciation and feeling good. Anything other than that is not love. If we all loved one another as ourselves, the world would be a better place!