You could probably rattle off half a dozen Bible verses, poems and songs about love. About the ecstasy, the agony, the pleasure and the pain of it.
You may have been in love, out of love, raised by love, fallen in love, given love and received it. Love of all types.
I truly believe that love is a verb – an action. It’s also a gift.
As I grow up, live, talk to people and experience life, I’ve realised we all have a great capacity to both give love and receive love. That giving and receiving, however, is always a choice.
There are things that people do to make themselves more attractive – you see this all the time when people court. They dress up, go out to nice places, are on their best behaviour at all times. They put their best foot forward. The young lovers usually reciprocate these affections and it’s fireworks for all involved.
Love is not a performance activity. Love isn’t thinking that if you buy your daughter a pony, she’ll love you more. It isn’t thinking that if you give your partner more sex, they’ll love you more. It isn’t thinking if you earn more, they’ll love you like they used too.
In love, you generally can’t expect to do action A to get outcome B. It just does not work – you’re putting your expectations onto another – it’s like you’re treating them like a robot, rather than an individual.
Sure, there are healthy things that you can do in every relationship. Being open and honest, looking out for the best in your partner, supporting each other, being open to meeting their needs – the list can go on. But what you can’t do is make someone love you. It’s a choice to give and a choice to receive.
None of us get it right 100% of the time. Sometimes not even 50% of the time. In love, sometimes we can feel like complete failures!
People show their love in quirky ways. I’ve found it’s never a textbook case of people trying to learn each others love languages or needs and implementing that. The challenge is to look for those things that your partner, your children, your family need and try to meet those needs. Not to get love, not to win approval, but because it’s the right thing to do. The only person you can work on is yourself, for yourself.
Love is a gift. Give it freely and look for ways to receive it freely.
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