Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Taking "Love" out of our vocabulary

A friend told me about a speaker who is attracting a lot of people. He states that greed is a good thing. Hmmm... He also says that he doesn't know what love is, and has removed that word from his vocabulary. While I don't agree with his thoughts about greed, I see value in his taking "love" out of his vocabulary. I appreciate his honesty that he doesn't know what the word means. I think most of us are confused about this word.

The same friend has been describing a relationship with her ex which to me sounds horrifying. It's passionate, it's all consuming, it's obsessive, it's hurtful, it wants to control, it wants vengance. The movie Wuthering Heights has been presented as a love story to us when it really has very little to do with love and a lot to do with lust and all of the above.

So let's get clear. Lust, obsession, control, possesiveness, vengance, hate have nothing to do with love. Also neediness and having our needs mets are not about love. Last week I was considering moving in with a friend to save some money. She's a good friend and we enjoy each other's company. I thought we could be happy living together. Until she brought up her issue, that she saw this move as creating a type of family. On some level she wanted her housemates to fulfill some emotional needs that she has. I was clear that I needed my freedom and that I do not consider it appropriate to ask your house mates to meet your emotional needs.

That made me wonder whether it's appropriate to ask anyone, including your spouse or life-time partner, to meet your emotional needs. No, was the answer. I can't ask anyone to fulfill my emotional needs. Hmmm...That's not what love is.

So what is love? I can tell you that true love feels light; it's not heavy and dramatic. True love accepts the other person as he is and allows him the freedom to live his life any way that makes him happy; it's not about control. True love seeks to heal; it does not attack. True love is generous and wants to give; it is not needy. True love wants only the good of the other person.

Do I love this way? Not all the time. Ok, not most of the time. So perhaps I should take the word "love" out of my vocabulary. I've always felt that my words for God are Truth and Freedom. They will do for now. And I'll keep words like "kindness" and "forgiveness" in my vocabulary. Especially forgiveness, for myself and for others. I think that may lead to the path of true love.

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