Seeing the best in life's challenges

Love: More Than a Feeling

on April 28, 2013

There are so many thoughts and opinions on what it means to love.  This morning’s sermon at church was about loving God’s creation and loving the Earth.  This inspired me to look at Love in a broader sense and what it means to us.

A simple understanding of Love, reflected in most dictionary definitions, is that Love is based in Feelings.  But most would agree that Love is more than just a feeling.

Love is demonstrated by Doing.  People who love others practice acts of kindness, they help each other, and they physically demonstrate their love in all sorts of ways.  If you think about it, much of our “working definition” of love in marriages is based on what marriage partners “should” and “should not” DO and how they should ACT.  We have a virtual rulebook of what it means to Love.

But we all know that just going through the motions doesn’t equal real love.  There has to be Loving INTENT.  Real love means wanting what’s best for the other person or persons.  Real love involves giving without the expectation of something in return.

Love is more than a Feeling

Love is demonstrated by Doing

Love is motivated by Pure Intent.

Sounds simple enough, so then why is Love in real life so complicated??

The root cause is this:  If you do not first love yourself completely and unconditionally, then it is impossible to fully love another.  If you do not understand who and what you are, you cannot fully relate to another human being.  Oh, you can be very functional, but you cannot attain a fully unconditionally loving relationship.

There is a very basic Longing that is shared among all of us, a Longing for One Love, a Longing for “completion” and connection, a Longing for what is missing.  As humans, we “feel” this longing and we dream of satisfying it.  Some have called this “existential loneliness.”

We long, and want, and need at such a level that, if we feel at all unworthy and unloved within ourselves, fear and insecurity kick in, and we seek to fill that void with an-other.  We want to feel validated, affirmed, told we are lovable, and we want to feel needed. We want to feel “good enough.”

The longing that is an unavoidable part of being human can manifest itself in all kinds of feelings that are unbalanced and prompt us to feel and dream of Love that is forced.  Love based on fear manifests itself in possessiveness, neediness, doubt, the need to control, and of getting hurt if things don’t go the way we want them to.

Only when we are fully able to let go of doubt, trust in God’s timing, and allow life to unfold as it will, will our “feelings” be only from the heart and not the fear-based ego.

A recent blog post found here said this:

“When love comes calling for us it will never leave, but when

we seek it out on our own, it will always run away, because we

called on it to come, instead of allowing it to arrive through the

timing of the Divine.”


We must wait on the universe to send a partner of love in our direction, for

if we seek out a sleepless dream, we will fall in love with a love that is not

meant to be.


Love will come to us through the winds of the unseen when we least expect

it, and when it arrives the depth our spirit will know that it is a love that is

true, for it will be a love that continues to grow and never leaves.

Seek only love for yourself and then when you are love, true love from

another, will come find you.


What about Doing?  The concept of Doing based on Love can be compared to the concept of being saved by Grace.  One is saved by Grace, not by works (Doing) but of course, a soul that is saved will Act based on Love because of its very nature.

“Grace is at the heart of the Gospel message. There is nothing we can do to deserve it.

On the other hand, too many undermine the importance of what it means to accept grace.

To accept grace is to live in thankful response.”    -Jedley Manimtim

A loving, thankful heart will, by its very nature, act lovingly.

In its Doing, a soul that still feels incomplete and unloved, will ACT in ways that are self-serving.  Behaving in ways that seek to control another, acting with ulterior motives, and doing things that elicit certain desired responses are all motivated by Intent that results from a sense of lack.

A person who has worked out all of their own insecurities, who knows that they are lovable just as they are, who is “comfortable in their own skin,” who feels complete in themselves, will choose Loving actions with Pure Intent.

This is not to say that actions based on Pure Intent will always be well-received or properly understood.  This brings us to another truth of understanding of relationships:  a relationship can only rise to the level of the person who is least evolved in their personal journey.

You could be the most loving, kind, tolerant, giving person, but your relationships with others will depend on who they are and where they are.  One person cannot carry a relationship, or force the other person to be something they are not.

The relationships that “work” the best are those between people that are at a similar place in terms of how they view Love, what kinds of Rules they live by, and the levels of personal security or insecurity they hold.  “Balanced” relationships between friends, or siblings, or spouses are the types of relationships that tend to last.  Dysfunctional relationships that are “balanced” can last a lifetime.

Only YOU can work on your own issues to elevate the potential level of your relationships.  You cannot do the work of another.

The Ultimate Unconditionally Loving Relationship is only possible when two people come together, who are totally at peace with who they are, totally secure in themselves, and have no doubts or fears.   Only then can they relate to each other with total acceptance and openness to the uniqueness of the other.

P.S.  I am fortunate to have several friends, some new, some old, who are well along on their own personal path.  One is a very recent acquaintance who within minutes I recognized as someone I could relate to in a very trusting and open way.  As you work at this yourself, and practice by opening up to others, all the while listening to your inner voice/intuition, you will be amazed at how easy it is to recognize others who are doing the same. 


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