I began thinking about love and how we all, whether we admit it or not, desire to love and be loved. It is the core of our existence here on earth. God has given us all many gifts, however, I think that the most important and undervalued is the capacity to love.
Love takes many shapes and forms in various degrees. There is platonic love, brotherly and sisterly love as well as intimate love. All love involves the desires of the heart. Intimate love seems to be the most passionate love the causes many of us ultimate joy or severe disappointment and pain.
We walk through life daily searching for love like a buried treasure. From the moment we take our first breath as we exit our mother’s womb we are in search of love. As we continue on this path called life we continue to search. Once we have found love we tend to either smother ourselves in it or cherish and nurture it so that it can grow. This love thing, the intimate kind, happens when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable. Love affects each of us differently and will have many of us acting in ways that we simply could not have ever fathomed. Love is one intangible gift that we all wish to possess and give in return. While there are various degrees of intimate love some either find it and not know what to do with it or never find it and blindly trip over ourselves in an attempt to acquire it. Searching for love can have us doing some things with people we would have never given the time of day if we were not in such a mode of desire.
We show our love for one another in many ways (Hallmark card, favorite meal, flowers, non-reciprocal kindness, etc) and there are times when this love is returned and others when it is taken for granted. I use to say the person who wrote “it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all” was crazy at best. To have lost in love is devastating at best and very painful. However, as I looked over my life and the love I have had, lost and even some I have never returned when received I do not regret any of my love experiences.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. (1 Corinthians 13:1-10)
Imagine what the world would be like if we allowed ourselves to give love and receive love without our misplaced conditions or limitations. Have you ever asked yourself, Could I have loved him or her more? Did I receive the love that was given to me freely? All love is not given unconditionally; however, true love is unconditional. Take inventory of your love. Allow yourself to be love and give love for it is truly a gift from God. I guarantee you that you will not regret it.