5 Truths About Love (365 Days of Spirited Living – DAY 45)
“You cannot convince people to love you. This is an absolute rule. No one will ever give you love because you want him or her to give it. Real love moves freely in both directions. Don’t waste your time on anything else.”
— Cheryl Strayed
“Love never fails” is one of the most famous lines quoted on love. Although it comes straight from the Bible, most of us tend to forget that this is the kind of love we should be giving and seeking. We are content to fantasize about the ideal partner and imagine love as a rush of sweet feelings or butterflies in the stomach. The problem is that real love is not a feeling or a rush of emotions. It is something deeper than that.
Here are 5 truths we need to remember about love — when giving it and looking to receive it:
1. Love is a choice.
Feeling love and choosing love are two different things. The emotional instability of love changes faster than the weather. But the choice to love remains the same. No one in the world can pay you enough money to make you love them. Love is a choice. And it is one of the most powerful decisions we can ever make.
2. Love involves work.
Love is an action word. It is not just a word — it denotes activity and work. Whether we want it to or not, love takes hard work. We do not just step into love or do nothing while we are loved. To love is to work. It is to show one another that we care, that we are concerned, that they are special.
3. Love is a two-way street.
It has been said that the goal of every parent is to make their child lovable. It is true. However, the goal of every parent is also to make their child loving. Receiving love and being able to give love unconditionally are two different things. There are many people who have a singular view of love — to receive it only OR to give it only. This is a deceptive view. Love is to be both given and received in order to be fully realized.
4. Love is imperfect.
If you find a totally perfect person who claims to love you or who you claim to love, be assured that you do not know what love is. Love is not perfect. Love is messy. Love is losing it and finding it. Love is annoying and enjoyable. Love is accepting and compassionate. We find our ideal relationship and our ideal people when we are willing to love — hurts, scars, bruises, imperfections, tears, and faults — all of it. However paradoxical it is, this is when you have perfect love.
5. Love is patience.
In an age of instant gratification, patience is not well-known. Love for anybody does not happen overnight. It is a gradual acceptance, a natural unfolding, an unhurried pace of life. Patience is not pushy. Patience is knowing when to hold on and when to let go. It is trust, belief, faith, and goodness that all things will work well, in time. Let love lead you to patience.
“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.”
— Elizabeth Gilbert