One of the deepest needs is to experience love. Our lives in some ways is a search for that experience, and therefore we do find that our relationships play such a significant role in our lives. IT is often noted that when there is the experience of being loved, it inevitably leads to a person feeling a sense of their worth and the expression of love is what gives meaning to us.
However very often we have lost the true meaning of love. To know what love is perhaps we begin by exploring what love is not..
There are three common confusions about LOVE which most of us will assimilate at an early age.
1. Love is mistaken for DESIRE
How often have we told someone I love you when or if they have given you something or done something that you desire. Usually to express this love we give an object of desire – flowers, chocolates or expensive gifts that seem to express the value we give to the other. Since we see love as desire it has led us to commodifying love – when I cant give materially it gets interpreted as I don’t love you…. Have you had such experiences. But true love doesn‟t desire or possess. True love doesn‟t want anything.
2 Love is mistaken for ATTACHMENT
When we say, “I love my new car or I love my garden.” It‟s not love. What we really „mean‟ is, “I am attached to my new car”. I have made my car or garden an extension of how I want to be seen and valued. And love is not attachment, if for no other reason than all attachment causes fear, and fear is the opposite of love.
3 Love is mistaken for DEPENDENCY
When we say, “I love you”, what we mean is I need you to affirm or validate me.. Love is not dependent on anything. We are really saying we believe that you are responsible to make me happy.
It is these illusions that keep us searching for love. We seek love as acceptance and approval in our many relationships. We desire the ideal love in the fiction of the perfect romance. We expect to find love in what we do, what we acquire and even in the places we go.
It may take us a little time to realize that the jewel in the crown of the human spirit cannot be found anywhere but in our own heart. It was, is and always will be there, which is „here‟!
To search for love is to avoid love. How are we to know love, when we continue to mistakenly believe that we need to acquire it, earn it or even win it? Intuitively we know that it is only by opening our own heart and in the giving of our self, without condition, that love can start to flow into and through our life.
Only by acts of selfless kindness, unconditional forgiveness and limitless compassion is love felt. Only by the intention to benefit „the other‟ before the self, is love made real and realized. And yet, even this is only possible when it is not a deliberated act, when motive is innocent. The motivation „to love‟ is not love, for love needs no motive.
Such is the nature of love.
It is what „I am‟ and it is what „you are‟. It is.
- extracted from The 7 Myths about Love by Mike George