What is love? I found myself pondering over this exact question some months ago and I was determined to find an answer. I sought bible verses, poems online, and literally  interrogated couples. In my search for the meaning of love, I stumbled upon a deeper meaning, a new perspective, and a life lesson. In this life, many people will get to experience it’s greatness, but as Alicia Keys sang, “millions never will”. Everyone has money on the brain, iceboxes for hearts, and no time for relationships; no time to figure out what life is really about. 

We get so caught up in the daily operations of our lives that we don’t sit down and think about our purpose as people. Everyone was blessed with a talent, skill, special knowledge, or mindset that their neighbor wasn’t; No one has everything but everyone has something. Through love, you build foundations to skillfully leverage your talents, helping as many people as you can. In love, you harm no one. It saddens me that the youth lack the knowledge of the value of life. I’ve seen too many deaths by the gun. Why are we killing each other? Why commit suicide? Who is preaching love? I will. 

We get so caught up in religion, we fail to realize the principles are the same. Love yourself, love one another. Give your neighbor, brother, sister, friend, acquaintance the benefit of the doubt; They were having a bad day! Out of love, compliment somebody. Smile at the next person you see. Positivity is contagious and I need everyone to get on board. We’ve all heard of the term “puppy love”, right? I attribute this to the love we think we have for one another, as we hold grudges, are jealous and possessive, wanting everything to go our way; Puppy love is getting hurt and retaliating to get even; judging people not knowing what they may be going through. It’s being manipulative for self- fulfillment.

It hit home when I learned that walking in love consisted of actively communicating with other people, trying to get to know them and their aspirations. I’m as introverted as they come; I used to walk in class and sit at the back of the classroom, knowing that I wasn’t participating in discussion for the day. When it was time to do group discussions, I “joined” the group by facing their direction but doing the assignment on my paper individually. I go in detail about that to say this; I may not be shooting people, or purposely putting anyone down, but I’m isolating myself from people I could be sharing ideas and laughs with. 

No one is perfect, especially when it comes to this love thing. It’s basically supernatural; greater than we’d ever understand. But it is definitely worth seeking in my opinion. We’re living in the age where people are either rushing into marriage or claiming they’ll never wed; puppy love or no love at all. Maybe I’m just asking us to grow up; join the big dogs. I saw a quote on Tumblr that read, “When you replace ‘I’ with ‘we’, even ‘illness’ becomes ‘wellness’.” That is a powerful example of the meaning of love. It’s so unselfish! It calls for us to live in peace and harmony with each other. Think before quarreling; Is this battle worth fighting? Will this further my life in any way? Are any of these people paying my bills? Usually helps me stay out of trouble. 

How could I write a whole article about love and not mention God? God is love. (Hence the ‘supernatural, greater than our understanding’ comment.) Many people think of Him as a dominant figure, expecting praise and punishing the evil. But God (my God, your God, the Higher One who created the Universe…everyone believes in something) is the perfect love; full of mercy and forgiving of all iniquities. Always there to listen, a friend in times of sorrow, a helping hand in times of trouble. Walking in love is like letting your guard down and in a sense, allowing yourself to be vulnerable. Forgive, forget, and let those walls come tumbling down. Open up to somebody, you only live once!

 

**Originally published to The Young Houston Magazine in 2014**

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