What Is Love … Really?


“What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.”  ~ Bert Bacharach

Every time I turn on the TV or read the newspaper, there’s always a new story about anger, hatred, violence, chaos and murder. I realize the media picks up these stories, but I remember when stories like this just didn’t happen nearly as often or as violent. And I wonder where is the love. I know it’s out there, but how often do we give it our attention?

The Dictionary describes love as, “a feeling of warm affectionate attachment, and it suggests tenderness, as for a child or parent; devotion and loyalty, as to friends or family; reverence, as for God; passion, as for a man or woman; or belief, etc.” But no matter how we interpret it, love is much more than many of us realize.

“Love … it surrounds every being and extends slowly to embrace all that shall be.”     ~Khalil Gibran


Love is pure energy and the most powerful emotion we have. It can be sent anywhere and move mountains, melt away hate and discord, and heal the sick, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We can see the beautiful power of love manifest in people and situations that are healed. But how often are we conscious of this powerful gift we’ve been given?

We think of love as 3 words … I love you. There is much power in words, and we need to speak them often. But we use them so randomly, it’s easy to forget that more goes into loving than just words. In its true sense, love involves thoughts, feelings, and actions expressed in different situations with or without words. I can think about someone and send them loving feelings; or send them a card with loving wishes; or just have a conversation with someone where love is felt. Recently in a grocery store a stranger in a wheelchair asked me to reach something for her. Then she became tearful and talked to me about her problems. We spoke for about 15 minutes, and I saw a smile replace her tears.

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Love can be expressed in different situations, in different ways, with different meanings. And our thoughts and feelings will determine meanings with or without words. Romantic love may be expressed with warmth and passion; various life relationships with tenderness, respect, and caring; comforting a sad heart with hugs; you may love your work with loyalty and dedication; agape love meant in a spiritual sense; love of God with reverence; love for humanity with purpose and strength; etc. And each one should be special from your heart.

“Life is the flower for which love is the honey.” ~ Victor Hugo

Did you know you can love all living things … animals and plants, lizards and squirrels, fish and bumble bees, all of life? Have you ever found a baby bird and nurtured it to adulthood and watched it fly away? That’s love with meaning. And it can flourish in any situation.

“You, yourself, just as much as anyone in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”  ~ Buddha


Every person needs to feel they’re loved. But many feel unloved, for any number of reasons, and feel unable to give love. When this happens, the essence of who they are gets lost somewhere inside, and an empty vessel can’t give what it doesn’t have. That’s when self-love is vital to life. You deserve love. Find ways to give yourself the love you need, and that energy will bring you the love you want and allow you to love others.

Love energy must be active. Practice loving with and without words. Every day give love to someone or something, including yourself. Send love energy to a puppy playing in a yard, a flower, a stranger on the street. And send love energy across the world, bidding it land wherever it’s needed. Love really can change the world if we’re willing to participate in creating the change.

May your life be filled with love

Marilyn Fowler, Author/Writer

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