What Is "Love" Truly?

1 Cor 13:13 - “And the greatest of all these is love.”

Love is often one of the most misunderstood terms to ever plague man. How could this word, simple in concept, which I will explain later, be the cause of much of the world’s dismay and ecstasy? How can a simple word polarize the masses?

The love that we are accustomed to defining could be described as a complex label, a conceptualized term mostly used to define an idea or an emotional response directed towards the affection of an object, concept, or person.

Transforming love based on feelings and emotion into a form of love that represents a pure state of being takes some understanding of what love is and what love is not.

In its most complete aspect, love, like pure energy is neither created nor destroyed. Love as a pure state of being seeks not limitations or definitions, it simply is. But like water forming to its own container, love can also be transformed from its true virtuous state of being into a conditioned and reactive form based on primal instincts of selfish need and sentimental feeling. Unfortunately, the latter is what many of us are accustomed to experiencing.

What does it look like?

We can easily recognize the selfish needs and desires that must be fulfilled in those who have fallen into the predicament of sentimentality. Hundreds of millions of people are enslaved by the desires of their hearts, their ambition, passion, hatred and anger. They do things irrationally, and justify their acts by claiming helplessness, "I can't help it, I just love it." But, the fact that a person "feels" something does not mean that the pursuit is good or even legitimate.

When a person says, “they love someone,” often, they are simply responding to a conditioned form of stimulus.

This counterfeit love, that we are accustomed to, is based on conditioned responses and feelings that are then very often controlled, manipulated and become the target of irrational, reactive circumstances whose outcome is determined by a given situation. We want and look for ways for people to love us and fortunately we get what we want; however, we attract through this kind of want the watered down version of love that we soon discover can't satisfy nor sustain us.

This is your wake up call

Love in its purest state is just the opposite of what was described above. Genuine love is not one of wanting to find love or even wanting to be loved. True love is an unconditioned state of giving and self expression.

Since true love is about giving and self expression, then it must follow that you will experience love to the capacity that you "are" love. Taking this a bit further, love is essentially never really a state of receiving. When you are love, you naturally express that which you are and you look for those opportunities that allow you to best express your true self.

Sounds simple enough? So, how can we recognize true love?

Well, we can always and immediately identify with true love because it comes from within, every time, no exception. You won’t need to look beyond yourself to begin to understand and experience the nature of true love. If you are still waiting for that special someone or you are looking for “them” to change, look no further. Remember, that is the upside-down, counterfeit, watered-down version of love that we are most accustomed to. It may take a moment to see and begin to experience it. Don't worry, you will.

You Must First Look Within!

Most people go through their entire lives not knowing about true love. They search everywhere outside of themselves, like the story of the man who sold his land of many acres and then went on exhaustive search for diamonds only to find out that he had sold the property with one of the largest diamond veins to ever exist was in his backyard.

Most people think that in order to have anything of value, they must look outside of themselves for it to manifest. When the brilliant and simple truth is, we already have it so we must simply “be it” in order to have (experience) it. That may take a second to sink in but you immediately recognize this profound and joyous truth. And the law of being applies to all of our desires.

If you want love, you must be love. If you want wealth, be abundant. When you live out of your being, which you are, joy and love can then be shared with others and that possibility attracts to you the perfect mate, job, house, you fill in the blank. It’s a wonderful cycle. And the very best part about being love is, you already are. There is nothing to work on. There is nothing to figure out. You simply are love and if you relax into this fact, wonderful experiences await you!

Anyone I Know?

Now let’s look at some examples throughout history that have demonstrated the divide between being love and its opposite.

We may have heard the notion that art often imitates life and that life is sometimes stranger than fiction? Various cultures are filled with evidence through these works of literature, music, art and poetry both past and present that allow us to deepen our insights into the various dimensions of love that mankind has collectively risen towards or failed to accomplish.

We have experienced these models of pure, unconditioned love through figures such as, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. whose “I have a dream" speech lives on in the hearts and minds of millions as the seed planted based on his understanding of what it means to live as love. He is a true expression of love expressing itself as equality for all.

We see and understand the humility of Mother Theresa and her ceaseless efforts towards the poor, the hungry, the orphaned and countless others who live, daily, with deprived conditions.

All of mankind has this same potential to live as love. They are no different than you and me. The warm, tender, hug of a mother can change their child’s life. We must never underestimate our own power, to demonstrate love.

Consider too, the legendary and cultural stories that also help us all to understand the world in which we live. The tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet, for example, where Romeo poisons himself over the loss of his object of love. Or a young man in love with a girl whom he turns into the sole focus of his life: what leads him to write her poetry saying "I love you," and to become obsessed with her to the point of suicide, and, in fact, to "deify" her? Is this the same "love" expressed by Dr. King or the tender mother?

There is, in fact, a difference. Love does not boast, Love does not hurt, Love does not lie, Love is gentle, and Love is kind. These beatitudes can help to clarify and express what love looks like in its most natural state, when unclouded by emotional reactions. If the love you are currently familiar with goes in opposition to these statements, you may be experiencing a fake version of love and if so, it is certainly worth examining further how one can shift into the real experience of true love.

How Do I Find True Love?

Often, people say that they can’t find true love. But, I am here to let you in on a little secret. True love is only found in giving. Love based on selfish control or emotional reactions can’t be love at all. In fact, it is better stated as stress and dysfunctional emotions. And these dysfunctional emotions can affect not only ones perception of what is love but this false perception can also damage the whole person’s mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being as the negative emotions take their toll.

Observe carefully, and you will see that stressful emotions age and damage body, mind, and spirit. Mental distress, tension and worry are bound to be reflected in the appearance. An emotional person's body language, attitude, and overall health can be drastically altered by whether or not a person is living in their natural state of love. Joyfulness, peace of mind, calmness and serenity are natural by products when the mind, body and spirit are all connected, balanced, and in harmony.

Love, in its purest form is simply, an expression of who we are at every moment. When distracted by needs, desires, wants, and control, our natural state of being, gets obscured. There is good news. Love never abandons us. It is always there, waiting to shine through the clouds. You can start right where you are, to experience a fuller, more abundant life by being who you truly are, now.

You will need to give yourself permission. You will need to allow yourself to experience unlimited joy and abundance, happiness and love. Now that you have allowed love to enter, you have really allowed yourself to be. Remember that love is about giving and being of service to the larger community of humankind in order to witness and experience who you really are. Look for ways, today, that you can express your authentic self.

Authentic self is usually determined by how well we can express qualities that show that we embrace reality and facts rather than denying truth, that we are genuine and spontaneous and that we are interested in solving problems outside of ourselves but may include personal challenges and the challenges of others.

Finally, being authentic and looking for ways to be love must be rooted in self acceptance and the acceptance of others without prejudice. Remember the formula is: In order to have love, abundance, health, happiness(fill in the blank), you simply must be(fill in the blank) because you already are(fill in the blank) so you already have it to manifest.

Start small and work your way up to larger expressions. Do you have a fantastic recipe that you can share or cook? Have you designed your business plan or taken the next step and opened that business you have been dreaming of? Did you take the risk and tell the person you care? Have you gone out of your way to be kind? How can you pamper yourself today? How can you pamper someone you know? These are just a few of the infinite ways in which we can serve one another and therefore ourselves.

True love really is a profoundly simple reality. Taking the time to be who we are, gives us what we want. No longer do we need to look outside or demand from others the treasure that lies within.

Which love will you choose to be a part of your new paradigm? Love as service to mankind or love based on external conditions, needs and wants? Choose well. Choose life! “Seek ye first the kingdom (fill in the blank), and all things shall be added.”

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