Love

As it’s Valentine’s day I thought I would write a little on the subject of Love.  I’ve mentioned in a previous post that love is one of the most important principles of my life but I’ve never really tried to explain what I mean by that on this blog.


Firstly I don’t mean chocolate and roses, or Mills & Boon style love.  Frankly the Mills & Boon type of things is more about fantasies and lust than it is about real love.  I’m not saying such things don’t have their place but to think real love is about the type of relationship often portrayed in these style of books is a mistake in my opinion.


Love has different facets and in English we lump it all into this one word which makes it confusing when you are trying to explain why it is so important to you.  


Many years ago I learnt about the four ancient Greek words for loveAgápe, Éros, Philia and Storge.  If I remember correctly I learnt about them in connection to the Letter of St Paul’s to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 13) which most people brought up with Christianity are likely to have heard at least once.  These ideas of spiritual love, passionate love, brotherly or sisterly love and family love have stayed with me.  In one of the many fantasy related books I have read there is a passage redefining these concepts as love involving the body for Éros, love involving the mind for Philia and love involving the soul for Agápe which has also stuck with me (from Anne McCaffery’s “The Ship who Searched”).  All of these facets of love are important to me in different ways but even these four ideas do not fully encompass what love means to me.


Love is that almost painful swelling of emotion I get sometimes when I watch my daughter playing or get a hug from my son.  It is the joy that brings tears to my eyes on a beautiful sunny day or at the sight of a rainbow.  It is about the smile on my face as I read the words of people far away from me that I have never met face to face.  It is passion and friendship woven together.


To me living by love means opening myself up to be able to feel connections with others. It means risking pain in order to get to know someone better. To live by love is to constantly try and improve my knowledge of myself, to work at improving my faults and yet at the same time to accept myself faults and all.  To live by love for me is about trying to accept a person or a place for what they are and what they bring to me.  And it is about accepting that no-one is ever going to be perfect.


I feel that love is also about reaching out to others and sharing with them the good things they bring into my life, to try and give back to them a little of the joy they give to me.


These are some of the reasons why this principle of Love is so important to me and why it guides me in my life.  Like many who try to live up to ideals and principles I don’t get it right all the time but I try 🙂

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