I have been thinking about love a lot lately and what it means to really love someone. I mean, all we need is love. Right? Love is the answer. Love never fails. Some say love hurts, love bites, and Jennifer Lopez told us that “Love don’t cost a thing.” Love makes the world go around. I could go on and on.
We use the term “love” to cover a variety of different feelings and actions. I remember when a friend of mine, who was originally from Venezuela, shared with me that as she was learning English, this was a completely confusing piece to her as it felt awkward to say that you loved someone with whom you weren’t “in love.” I hadn’t spent much time thinking about it before but we use word love like it is an ever-abundant resource (which by the way, I fully believe it is). However, we always changing the meaning of the word by changing its context. For instance, I love my husband but I also love my son, and peanut butter, puppies, a good night’s sleep, a great new outfit, puppies, Jesus, sushi, puppies, purple, and did I say puppies? My list of loves could go for days, but the truth is, I don’t love sushi in the same way I love my husband, and I don’t love my husband in the same way I love puppies. You get the idea. I think it is easy for us to think of love as a feeling, which it can be, but I also believe it is so much more.
My growing desire is to operate continually from a place of love. I truly believe that I show up as my best self when I show up from that place…that place of love. So, what do I mean by that? For starters, I need to share that love and fear don’t co-exist together. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear (I John 4:18). For me, when I speak of love, I think that to love someone is to always want what is best for them, regardless of how it impacts me. As I have moved through this past week, as I hit challenges along the way, regardless of the type of situation, I would ask myself, “what would love do?” When my child had a temper tantrum, when my husband got upset with me for being a back-seat driver, and when my client was being unnecessarily demanding. I asked myself how would love respond. I also found late in the week that I was feeling really stressed about something at work and when I stopped to look at it, what I realized is that the stress was caused completely by fear. Fear of my own failure. Fear of my inadequacy. As I said, fear and love can’t co-exist. Where there is fear, I must replace it with love. Loving myself is just as important, if not more important than loving others. Taking the time to think through, “what would love do,” let me re-position my thinking and approach the situation from a completely different perspective. Honestly – a place that felt so much better.
As I start out this week, I am continuing my internal focus on intentional love. I have been amazed at what a shift it can make all around me.
Love God. Love myself. Love others.
When love is pure, when it is done right. I promise you, it does not hurt and it does not fail.
I’d love to hear what you think? If you have a favorite quote with “love” in it then please feel free to share!