I Wanna Know What love is ...

A love song, a poem, an image? Is that what love is?

Ask yourself, what does love mean for you. Do you really know?

There are literally millions of words, love quotes, phrases, and books on the subject. Some go for the romance and suck you in with the promise of smothering you with blissful loving emotion. They can hypnotise you with sexy, romantic images, soft pastel colours (like mine?) and language that intoxicates, simply because your ego falls for it, all the time.

What I want to do here is define in clear terms the essence of true love, and how you can enjoy it in your relationship.

Ready to know more about what true love really is?

Reveal Your Love!

The most simple elements anyone can identify and relate and know true love exists. Find out why fear is not respect and how to recognise the absence of love. Hate is not the opposite of love. In fact there is no opposite of love. There is only the presence of love, or the absence of love. In the absence of love we feel fear, although we may give fear all kinds of labels.

What's love got to do with it?

Loving is ...

How many way can you define what love really is?

Do you focus on a romantic fantasy love story? Or perhaps the devotion of a patriotic hero fighting for his country? What about the love of a song that lights up your heart as you listen?

In the films and other media love is passive. Look at the marketing around you. Notice it. Maybe even for the first time. How are people attempting to persuade us to choose one thing over another? How you do one thing is how you do everything. If you fall for marketing methods, you'll probably fall for the fantasy of love too, and you'll never find it.

Love isn't passive. It isn't something that we can go out and get. Its something we do. More accurately love is active, something we give. Giving love is the ultimate way to truly feel love too.

Acts of love

There is more to love than just giving love though. There are those that cannot give love in certain ways, but still can love. If you don't believe me, search "You Tube" for "No arms No legs No worries." Nick is one passionate determined guy who does not have the ability to hold another human being in the normal sense but can bring an audience to tears in awe of his love for pushing beyond the boundaries of belief and achieving more than anyone might think possible. Check it out, you'll love it!

Love has to be more than giving because there has to be certain basic elements present. For example a rich man can give generously to charity, but before you are fooled into thinking this is an act of love, inspect his tax return. He may have another motive.

Show me the love

Common to all elements of love are care, responsibility, respect and knowledge. The man who gives generously to a particular charity may also be seen scoffing at the plight at those in greatest need of charitable support, therefore he clearly wouldn't care too much about them. He would care about the balance on his tax return of course so he isn't without love completely. (Of course, this is an extreme example to label this point and is not intended to reflect any individual, or even organisation)

Think more of a mother and her infant. Not only does she give the infant whatever she thinks she can to ensure its survival, but she cares for it too. Bath's it, soothes it, educates it.

You might think differently of a person who denies a child that loving care. Or perhaps displays over zealous discipline.

Stimulus and Response

Love, therefore is more than just the caring side because there needs to be a sense of responsibility also, and not just out of duty. Responsibility is a human choice. It is the difference between an adult and a child where there is a space between the stimulus and the response. An adult will display responsibility by their ability to respond to the stimulus. (read more about this in Stephen Covey's Seven Habits...)

Observe how different people tend their gardens. Some see it is a labour of love, and others see simply labour! How do you respond to the weeds in your own garden? Metaphorically speaking, that is.

So giving love, care, taking responsibility they must be present in love mustn't they? One can care, one can take responsibility, but there are still two more key elements to know what true love really is.

The final step to true love

Respect and knowledge go together hand in hand and complete the elements for true love.

The word "Respect" comes from respicere (to look at). Beauty is only skin deep, and real love is when you see beyond the surface, and fully understand and connect with another persons soul.

Real love is looking at the wood and still recognising the beauty of the tree's.

Respect is not fear, or even awe, because in either case there is the lack of the self. To be in fear of another is not to love, but is the absence of love. If you are in fear of your partner you may be in an abusive relationship and at risk and should seek help or guidance in taking your next step. You cannot fully respect someone if you are in awe of them because you have not fully realised your own magnificence.

Finally, how can you fully respect your partner without knowing them deeply? Do you know their favourite meal? Their favourite wine? There are love tests that can give you a love match ratio and they can be great fun but knowledge of these things alone does not show you love each other. Use the love tests as a guide for sure, but your love match is only assured when you give, you care for, you take responsibility, you respect, and you know your partner deeply.

May you enjoy a long and happy healthy relationship!

Inspired by International best seller " The Art of Loving" by Erich Fromm

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Or, how about this, on of the most popular Bible readings at weddings:

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.

It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.

It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

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