Friday, January 8, 2010

Origin of Love

Ever thought about where love came from? If because man has embraced evil and has passed this tendency through genetics down through the centuries, we have become incapable of originating any good thing, then how does love function? Does it move through us, having originated somewhere else, are we merely vessels or carriers of love? How do we experience it, and how do we share this experience with others?

Telling someone you love them for the first time is sometimes a daunting event. You are not sure if the other person feels the same way about you. If you speak your true feelings too soon, will you push them away in fear? Will you come across as desperate? In short, a declaration of love on your part, is also a fair gamble of vulnerability. What if your love is rejected? How crappy does that feel! But if your love is returned, Oh the joy that rushes over you. It is as if you have found a rare or precious jewel while walking through your front yard. You cannot believe your luck. You found something this great, and even better, it is mutual. Yes for love to be real, it has to be mutual doesn’t it?

That first expression of love, comes as a verbal announcement of the internal feelings of warmth, affection, and attraction you have for another. It feels like love. But doesn’t familiarity over time dull these feelings? If so, do people then ‘fall out of love’. See herein lays a characteristic of love we seldom pay attention to. Love is dynamic, and always on the move. Either love deepens over time, or it dies over time, it will not hold still and just be. Which direction love moves depends in part on how you focus it. Do you take all your warm, affectionate, and attractive feelings for another, and then begin to contemplate how to derive as much pleasure for yourself from them as possible? Is your first thought when thinking about your new-found love, what it means to you as a person, what you will get out of this new relationship. If so, you are focusing your young love inwards, and are therefore predestining it to die. At some point, the newness of your relationship will wear off. At some point, when the excitement of the moment has passed, and you have spent countless hours with this person you thought you loved, your discovery will seem more like having found a sharp stone in your shoe. Every step you take will be painful. And all you begin to think about is how to get rid of this pain in your … foot.

But on the other hand, you could turn all those feelings of warmth, affection, and attraction into determining to make the life of the object of your love - a better thing. Focusing your feelings on pleasing another will ultimately bring you even more joy, as you catch it reflected in their life. This outward focus of feeling will cause love to deepen, and is the most likely way of eliciting a similar response in your new-found partner. So does that mean you give, if they give? NO!!! It means you give (period). No expectation of a response from them. This is not give and wait for an equal response, it is give and the act of giving is the joy you seek. Response is just icing on the cake, not the cake itself. That kind of unselfish love, can grow VERY strong.

When time has passed and the newness of this relationship has worn away, when the excitement of first kisses, and holding hands for the first time has long since departed. What takes its place is a level of contentment, trust, fulfillment, and joy in truly becoming one with another; One in mind, one in thought, and one in purpose. You begin to meld even your personalities into each other, adopting the likes and dislikes of the other over time. These relationships are not easily shaken. They do not tend to result in divorce, or affairs, or dissolution, because they are based on a principle of unconditional giving. In short they are founded on God.

A fair question is how do I know if another truly loves me? How do they treat you? Are you their first thought, their first priority? Is your happiness the uppermost thought in their mind? Do they inquire about your thoughts, feelings, and activities? Do they serve you without hesitation, or expectation? Do they do these things over and over without so much as a word? Do they try very hard to avoid conflicts and seem to always try to give in when one arises? Do they forgive, show patience, and support you in what you try to do? This is a demonstration of love from another. But a far more important question MUST be asked. Do you do these things for them FIRST?

You MUST show love before expecting to feel it. This is what God does for us, and what we must do for each other. He offers us unconditional love a long time before we even know who He is, and why He would do so. He gives us love while we are throwing rocks in His face and rejecting His every advance. BEFORE we consider whether someone else loves us, we must first truly examine whether we have really shown them love. Telling someone you love them is nice, but is it meaningless. Do you follow your declaration with actions that prove it? Or do you simply repeat empty words that sound nice but are really intended to elicit a response in someone else for your own selfish purposes?

Understanding and matching demonstrations of love is important as well. For example some people equate showing love as care-taking. They equate the level of love someone else has for them, in how well they take care of you. So if hubby is an excellent provider, cleans the house, cooks the meals, and takes care of the kids – he must really love me. Or if wifey stays home from work, cleans the house, cooks the meals, taxi’ cabs the kids, and sews knicknacks in her spare time – she must really love me. Actually this may be true, but also it may not; perhaps hubby or wifey work so hard around the house to cover a guilty conscience about many unknown transgressions. Or perhaps they work so hard to avoid having real conversations, show real feelings, and reveal who they truly are inside. Being an excellent care-taker may be how you demonstrate love, or may have nothing to do with it. You need to find out what another person values, not simply assume it is what you provide them. Your significant other may care less about a care-taker and want rather simply to talk and spend time together. They would be happy living in a messy house, eating fast food, and playing with the kids as a family – than doing anything else on planet earth. It is important to match the demonstration of love to the needs of the person you claim to love.

So often I have heard teenagers crying over a breakup stating how much they loved that other person. My question to them is; Oh yeah, what did you ever do for that person without asking for something in return? What did that person really like doing for fun? What was their favorite food? What did they value in life? What made them happy? What did they really want to do when they grew up? If you are able to quickly answer these questions, then perhaps you truly were in love. But most often, the teenager has only considered their own responses to these questions, they have no idea what the purported object of their love would say.

When you examine love from the standpoint of what it means to another, it answers some of the other nagging questions of life. Like can a person love more than one other at a time? On the surface, yes. But really, down deep, No. The two people they truly love, are self and self. Breaking the heart of another by splitting the love between more than one person is not real love, it is real selfishness. Can a person truly love no-one. On the surface, yes. But down deep, No. They wind up loving themselves. A great many people have only learned how to love themselves, how to please themselves, and how to mask their vast unhappiness with multiple distractions. These are the most miserable of all people, because they know not how to love anyone other than self. They may claim to love you, they may even do things for you to show you their love. But the motives are always acutely aware and evident that they require WAY more than they offer. Any gesture on their part REQUIRES an equal or larger gesture on your part, or an argument will ensue. This is not love, it is selfishness.

We seem more than capable of creating from within selfishness, but almost devoid of the ability to generate unselfish love. Our ability to do evil seems unparalleled, but our interest in doing good barely registers on the map. In short, we may have lost the ability to create true good. But we can connect to the ultimate source of all good. It is that source that allows real love to flow through us. It is our God that enables us to forgive another, to have patience in the face of evil intent, to ignore selfishness, and offer anyway. It is GOD ALONE who can accomplish this on our behalf. We are mere carriers of His love. We often pollute it with our own ideas about satisfying our needs, or dilute it by trying to drink it in and absorb the goodness of loving feelings without sacrificing for another to achieve them. But in the end, a connection to God, is a connection to the fountain of love. It is this fountain that is the real power in the universe. We experience it most keenly as we realize our need of it, and connect ourselves with it. And the good news is our God is just waiting for us to do so. He longs for us to become connected with Him. This is His entire desire, to reconcile with His children, us. Herein lays the origin of all love…

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