This post is part of my ongoing series on Love.
As I am sitting in meditation pondering what to write and teach about, I realize that many people in the world do not understand the relationship between loving as a feeling and love that makes life an exciting and amazing exploration of relationship and togetherness.
The phrase “love is an action word” came into my mind attached to a myriad of lessons and impressions about love and loving.
I shall try to unravel and share the wisdom and implications of this revelation with you today, lessons about love.
Love in action takes love from being just the emotions of love, into being a guide for your love relationships.
It supports and encourages your loved ones in coming into the fullness of their being. It supports their journey, even when it goes in a direction you may not personally desire.
Love is, of course, a powerful and dynamic force that has the power to transform your life and fill you with incredible joy and fulfillment.
Certainly “falling in love” is a peak experience in anyone’s life. For some love lasts a lifetime as cherished support that permeates their lives.
However, for others love becomes a source of agony, riddled with pain and sorrow, marked by disappointment and betrayal.
Love is certainly a complex emotional energy-riddled with a great many differing aspects. Although it is perhaps one of the most important issues in life, it is something that everyone assumes you know how to do.
In my experience, and my many years of teaching and coaching people to have a happy and successful life, I have realized that there is much about love that is not easily understood.
My meditations, and I hope my writings, will open you to a new way of considering love.
What It Means To Love
The very word love has so many variations to it that ancient Greeks divided love into multiple words.
Here is what Wikipedia says about these Greek love words:
Agápe means “love: esp. brotherly love, charity; the love of God for man and of man for God.” Agape is used in the biblical passage known as the “love chapter,” 1 Corinthians 13, and is described here and throughout the New Testament as brotherly love, affection, goodwill, love, and benevolence.
Éros means “love, mostly of the sexual passion.” The Modern Greek word “erotas” means “intimate love.” It can also apply to dating relationships as well as marriage. Plato has Socrates argue that eros helps the soul recall knowledge of beauty, and contributes to an understanding of spiritual truth, the ideal “Form” of youthful beauty that leads us, humans, to feel erotic desire – thus suggesting that even that sensually based love aspires to the non-corporeal, spiritual plane of existence; that is, finding its truth, just like finding any truth, leads to transcendence.
Philia means “affectionate regard, friendship,” usually “between equals.” It is a dispassionate virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle. Philia is expressed as loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality, and familiarity.
Storge means “love, affection” and “especially of parents and children.” It is natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring.
Unfortunately, in modern society, we only have one word that is supposed to fit all forms and aspects of love and we have romantic books, films and media products that seem to go out of their way to define love in a way that creates unrealistic expectations about what it means to love.
All too often, this fairy tale fantasy about love leads to the expectation and belief that when you love someone they want exactly what you want, that in some way doing what you need gives them what they need. This fallacy leads to many broken hearts.
As I pondered further about these love issues, the phrase, “Love is an action word” loomed in my consciousness.
To say ‘I love you’ is often easy.
To demonstrate that love in action is much more powerful.
– Genevieve Gerard
Put Your Love Into Action
What does that mean, put your love into action? How does just considering that concept change how you act with someone you love?
These are all valuable questions to ask yourself. There is no primer for how to love or what it means to really love someone. And, there is a lot of glamors and illusion surrounding love. In fact, in spite of how very important love is in life, there is very little available about how to truly love another.
To love and manifest your love for a beloved in a way that communicates to them that you love them requires action. To act in a loving way in the midst of your needs and their needs often requires sacrifice, clearly involves taking the time and effort to understand what they want that is different from you and what they need that is different from your needs.
Because love is such a vast, multi-dimensional and powerful force in life with so many distinctive and differing forms, it, unfortunately, falls into a category of everyone believing it is something that just comes naturally. However, you only need to consider the number of loves and lives that have crashed and burned, to realize that this is far from true.
This blog post, this concept, is only a drop in a vast ocean of need. Even so, I think “Love is an Action Word” is an important concept and an important way to empower your relationships and your life.
It is important to tell someone that you love them, for to feel loved is a deep longing in the human psyche. To tell someone you love them reinforces a lot of wonderful energies. Moreover, when you back up what you are saying by what you do with them and for them, by supporting and encouraging them, it is powerful indeed.
To make your love into an action word, to behave in a loving way that manifests that love into the world, is a way that can have a profound influence on the success of a loving relationship and the happiness of both you and your beloved. It requires extending beyond your needs to the consideration of who they are and what they need. In this way, you can honor and cherish them.
Immature love says, I love you because I need you.
Mature love says, I need you because I love you.
– Erich Fromm
To manifest love into action requires stepping outside of yourself, your needs, and your thoughts and take a fresh look at who they are. This honesty with yourself and honest consideration of who they are, and what they want or need that is distinctive and different from what you may want or need, is active loving. It demonstrates the respect that is affirming for them.
Doing this also avoids the senseless sacrifices that are often made in the name of love. All too often people make sacrifices for someone they love without this step.
When sacrifices are made without thought and consideration of what they truly need, or are really asking for, it is possible for you to have made a real sacrifice and find it is not appreciated.
Rather than being hurt or disappointed by this response, consider your sacrifice in the context of whether or not it was what was really needed or being requested.
To demonstrate love in an action that considers who your beloved is, separate from you is potent. It does require stepping outside of your perspective and considering the perspective of someone other than yourself. It also means loving unconditionally. This may not be an easy or natural thing to do, which is why it is so significant. This is why I say, it is putting love in to action.
To help you get in touch with your ability to love unconditionally and to be freed by forgiveness I created my Gift of Unconditional Love meditation. This meditation will help heal the hurts in your heart and open you to a source of love and grace that aligns your mind and your emotions with your Soul and invites you into a community of consciousness to help make the world a better place.
Sadly, all too often, the giving in a relationship falls into the tragedy of O. Henry’s tragic story “The gift of the Magi.” You may recall that this story of loving sacrifice ends with the irony of lovers both left with less by their great sacrifice for the other.
When you love someone, I recommend considering them,
what they need, what they desire, and
then take the step of demonstrating that love by action.
– Genevieve Gerard
Think of the little ways you can take action to make the life of your loved one a little better, a little easier. These need not be big things and need not cost money. Little considerations, small kindnesses that honor and support the other are all demonstrations of love.
These little gestures may not even be consciously observed by the one you love, however they will establish an atmosphere of love and support that builds and becomes more tangible with each active expression of your love. To truly understand and acknowledge and honor the person you love as a unique individual, who although they have joined their life circumstances with you, is a dynamic way of demonstrating your love.
It may require forgiving things they have done that you do not understand. Seeing your loved one as who they are, different and separate from you. This differentiation and clarification is the first step in learning to love unconditionally.
This requires thought and consideration. It is all too easy to fall into the pattern of projecting your thoughts and feelings onto your beloved and then expect them to think and feel exactly the way that you do, or to want exactly what you want.
To give your loved one what they want, especially when it is different from what you want may require sacrifice on your part, but if you have taken the time and the effort to consider what they want and need that is truly meeting their needs and wants, you avoid the all too frequent issues of unappreciated sacrifice because what you have given was not really what they wanted or needed.
Taking love from romantic fantasy’s, to the action required by understanding and respecting that your loved one is separate from and different from you, may shift a lot in your relationship that makes it happier, healthier and more supportive and empowering.
…let’s not merely say that we love each other;
let us show the truth by our actions.
– Bible, John 3:18
So, in this season of love I invite you to explore and consider who your beloved is as a unique person who is different from you; who may want different things and have needs that make no sense to you. Then, act upon that understanding. Make love an action word in your life and in your relationship.
This shift in your behavior, when you express your love, will strengthen and empower your relationship and your expression of love in a dynamic and life-changing way that can increase the happiness and satisfaction of both you and the one you love. Your love will mature and bring you both greater joy and happiness.
The Blessing of Love on All That You Do!
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