3 Secrets to Understanding Love
by Don Purdum
What is love? After all, we all need it and we all want it!
There are so many stereotypes of love. We can all list movies play into it: Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, The Notebook, 13 Going on 30...the list is endless. But what is it really? Is there a secret to understanding it?
Love Secret #1 - Love is NOT an Emotion
Love is not an emotion! Love is not that feeling you get when you meet someone and your heart flutters or you get that sick feeling in your stomach when the phone rings.
People enjoy talking about how they feel and say things like:
"I can't wait to get a husband who makes me laugh." Or, "She makes me so happy!"
But you never hear; "I can't wait to spend my life with the same person, in the same house; day-after-day, month-after-month, year-after-year; with the same kids, and the same dog that barks all of the time."
Think about it for a moment. What happens when the "love" wears off?
Love is not an emotion. If it were, we would actually have chaos and high intense stress all around us. We wouldn't want that would we?
Love Secret #2 - Re-think Your Expectations of Love
We walk into too many relationships with too many unrealistic expectations. Expectations are nothing more than a list of things you want that most people cannot live up to. Then, we wonder why down the road we aren't in love anymore?
You were never in love with that person to begin with, you were in love with an idea. And, that person could not live up to your idea of love.
Somewhere in life, probably as a child, you created a world based on what you have been fed about love. It could have been through a parent, movies, pop-culture, your friends influences, romantic books, etc. The point is, you bought a story that wasn't true or realistic. Through the false stories you told yourself, you created toxic relationships in the past that ended up in failed relationships and bad experiences. Yet, you held onto your story, the lie, after it continued to not work.
You must begin to re-think through what love is!
Love Secret #3 - Love is Not a Emotion, It is an Action
Love is an action, a series of small events that lead towards transparency, confidence, trust, and intimacy (yes, in that order). When you give the person who you "love" what they need and want, they will reciprocate. But, only if you are speaking the same language. Your relationships may not be working because you are fitting your story into that other person who does not know your story, and you're miscommunicating all over the place.
When I show my wife how I feel about her based on my actions, she gives back to me. That feeling that comes back is what makes me feel good. When I give love, the feeling that comes back is the result of serving someone who needed, wanted, and appreciated my service.
Love is not a noun, adjective, or adverb, it is an action verb. Don't just tell your loved ones today that you love them, show them!
The key to love is service to that other person in everything you do. Here is the real secret:
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends." 1 Corintians 13:4-8
The real problem with the modern definition of love is that it is rooted in "me."Love has nothing to do with me! Please get that straight now regardless of if you are single or married. Love is an action, it's about service to the one you place your affections on, it's about giving yourself freely.
It's about being transparent (Value #1 in my upcoming eBook on 8 Values to a Lasting Marriage) and open with yourself so that you can give to your significant other or spouse. That will lead to trust, confidence, and intimacy.
Love is also not just about your spouse or significant other. It goes into every area of your life and reaches into every relationship you have whether it be family, friends, neighbors, church, business, or work. Be yourself, give yourself, and watch what comes back!
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