Love is a common word we hear every day. Love is equated to so many things. As you may have heard the famous cliché, we sometimes look for love in all the wrong places. What is love? What should I love? Is too much love a dangerous thing? Merriam-Webster defines love as a strong assurance of affection. I can say I love you, but if you’re not strongly affected in any way, love cannot be perceived from such words. Hugs, kisses, random talk, and spending time with someone all falls under the meaning of love.
In today’s society, it’s very easy to fall in love, but staying in love is where the game begins. Some fall in love at first sight while others fall in love as time progresses and they learn new things about the person or thing they admire. Love comes in categories. The four categories of love are Storge, Philia, Eros, and Agape. In order to reach an area in your life where you remain in love, you have to reach the agape level. Think about your favorite food or dessert for a moment. When I was young, I enjoyed candy apples. I would help my mother bake them and glaze them in the wee parts of the afternoon. Putting on the peanuts was my favorite part. It took a while for me to love candy apples. Once I gained an agape love for them, I began doing anything I could to obtain one or a few. I hope this blog post achieves the very same thing you are seeking for.
To begin, one must understand that “love” and “hurt” cannot mix just like light and darkness cannot. They are separate entities. Many times, people can accept hurt as a form of love. In my childhood years, they called it tough love; the child that got kicked out of his parent’s house and forced to live on his/her own. True love is not tough and it shouldn’t hurt. True love requires sacrifice, not hurt. If someone tells you about your actions and how you are hurting them, you’ll change or make progress to change if you love them. If not, you’ll continue hurting them. Love is sacrifice and will be discussed when I talk about agape love.
Secondly, you must love yourself. You cannot love anything or any person until you love yourself. Love what God created you to be from the inside out. Many times, we focus on the physical appearance and if we don’t look the part or fit in with the crowd, we feel we’re rejected and not loved. Loving you starts on the inside. Take a moment to sit down and write down all the things you like about yourself; your gifts, your smile, your skills, and so forth. There’s always something you can love about yourself if you try really hard to think about it; even if it’s small.
Thirdly, find a reason to love. When you find the reason to love, find out if it’s healthy or detrimental to your emotional health. Your joy and self-esteem interprets your view and mindset on the things around you. Ask yourself – why do I love this? How does loving this benefit me? Love is give and take. The giving is the sacrifice and the taking is the benefit you receive from loving. It’s a two-way street and if both parties aren’t making “love” work, it won’t be successful.
In closing, make the sacrifice to achieve love! Sometimes, you’ll be placed into circumstances where you have to agree to disagree and give up the right for the wrong. A mother’s birth is the best example. Though she didn’t agree with the pain and procedure to bring you into the world, she loved you so much that she was willing to sacrifice. What are you willing to give up today to show your love? Would you give up money and time? Would you give up some selfish ways and become selfless to others? Once you make the sacrifice to love, love yourself, and find a reason for loving, you can fall and remain in love with anybody and anything. It’s a process, but it’s worthwhile in the end!