Life-Love 52: Learning to love

We are taught so many confusing things about love, most of which feel pretty unloving, really. We are told that love is really an offshoot of lust – that the bodily attraction we naturally feel to someone else when we’re under the influence of the right mix of pheromones and alcohol is the basis for love. Some people will tell you that love is about not being able to live without something or someone – a sort of dependence or addiction. There are moments when we experience the world in way which lifts us out of selves. Reading a news story of a soldier who performs a selfless act to save other members of his platoon. Watching someone choose to deny himself or herself something and choose rather to give it to another. Walking in a park and seeing two young women sitting in a park, one sharing a story of disappointment, or maybe a broken heart, and the other gazing intently at her, choosing to spend time and energy and emotion in support of a friend. These are but a few of the daily vignettes we encounter as we journey through life. They are the stories of our lives, the stories of love. It is so easy to withdraw into yourself. To block out the world by being aggressive or materialistic. To think of others as objects. To want control and power. That is the opposite of love. And sometimes, no matter who we are, we confronted by the emptiness of being unloving. Control over others is fleeting. Power will certainly be wrested away from you soon. The only permanent things is trust and confidence. Loving is both easy and hard. Easy, because it always makes you feel more human, more connected to others, more relaxed, deeper and more satisfied. Hard, because we live in a unloving world – a hard world where people treat others as objects, as means toward an end. We are provided daily examples of love, however. And there is no greater liberation, no greater freedom, than the moment of choosing to love. For, in that moment, you discover that love makes everything new.

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  1. A rather complex topic which has no definitive answer, but to learn it you must understand it. For me love starts with true friendship (a shared sense of caring and concern, a desire to see one another grow and develop, and a hope for each other to succeed in all aspects of life) then it’s set on fire.
    Learning to love requires a prerequisite of loving yourself FIRST. Sum up in a song by Whitney Houston “Greatest Love of All”.
    Finally, learning to love requires focusing on the good/positive qualities of that person and in so doing you can love almost anyone.
    I can go on and on…

  2. Those are very thoughtful comments, Greg. I agree completely about loving yourself first. Also, I think you are right about focusing on the good/positive qualities. That is also the root of hope.

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