Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What Is Love?

I've been thinking a lot lately about love, what it is, what it isn't, and how it operates in our lives. I've reached a conclusion: REAL love is separate from your ego. Real love doesn't demand conditions be met; it wishes only the best for the beloved. It arrives, considered, is accepted by choice; and it isn't just a lucky thing.

There's a quotation from Tenzin Gyatso I added to this blog a few weeks ago: "Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other."

Real love means granting the beloved total freedom. You grant them their full humanity and you don't try to control them or change them to better suit you. You love the beloved for exactly who they are, warts and cellulite, stubbornness and lamebrainedness--indeed, you love even their imperfections.

But it has to be a two-way street. If your beloved is not in the same place as you, then the fallout is an imbalance of power, vulnerability that is taken advantage of, abuse, disrespect, demands, and attempts to enforce conditions.

A lot of people talk the talk. But so few of us are actually able to walk the walk. Our insecurities, our clinginess, our egos get in the way. If your ability to be happy hinges on the presence of someone else in your life, then your need is greater than your love.

Love is a gift, given freely. When it is returned in kind, then it is a miracle.

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