Well hey there, nothing like hitting a deep topic for a snow covered, single digit, thank-God-for-coffee Tuesday. Rory, dear sister blogger, you sure know how to pick a topic! Glad my coffee cup is bottomless today as well. So let’s do this!
What is it?
An elder at my former church once defined it as such:
The heartfelt desire to do what is best for another, regardless of the temporal cost to self (in the spiritual, eternal sense, it is NEVER a sacrifice to to what is best for others!)
Love is adopting the best interest of another in your heart as your own best interest. (Keeping in mind that what is “best” ALWAYS means what is best for the soul….meaning that what is best for another is ALWAYS what draws them closer to Christ.)
That pretty much sums it up for me. Even if you are not a Christian, it applies, that it is the heartfelt desire to do what is best for another. If you love someone, your desire is to put them and what is best for them, ahead of yourself. This would apply to love of a couple, love of parent to child, or friend to friend. Even owner to pet, because we love them too! It covers it all.
The bible says love your neighbor as you do yourself. Well, that definition certainly covers it, because if you love yourself you do what is best for yourself. And if you don’t do that, you aren’t truly able to love another, at least in my opinion.
Does it happen at first sight?
Um, by that very definition, my answer is no. I believe in serious attraction from the get go, after all that is usually what draws us to someone to begin with, either physical, emotional, intellectual or hopefully all of those at once. But I have never met anyone that right from that very second I’d have put their life in front of mine, with the exception of my children. But then I believe instincts and the bonding with them before they are born, lends itself to that and you really do love them, as a mother, before they are born.
I DO believe that chemistry plays into it. We all have our own scent (ask a dog), and I’m sure that we are hard wired some how to find instant chemistry with someone of the opposite gender who would be a good match for us. But love takes time, and grows stronger with that time, so other than instant chemistry and attraction, no love at first sight.
Do you only get one great love per life time?
I certainly hope not! I don’t buy that for a minute.
I’ve said I will never love another man the way I did my ex-husband. But there is a lot of explaining to do with that statement. We spent 22 years together as husband and wife. We raised children, went through good, bad, rich, poor, sickness and more sickness, health etc. There are SO many memories and for me, most of those very good. There is a long history there. For me, he was a great love, was my hero, my rock, joy and heartache. The saddest part of a marriage breaking up is that down the road, with another person, there will be no “hey remember when Bubbles was 3 and…” because those memories were made with someone else. A mom loves her mate in a way no one can, as she watches him with their children, falling in love over and over again with him throughout those years.
BUT I do believe I can have another great love in my lifetime, and plan too. Things will be different, getting to know someone on those core depths again, and new memories made. There won’t be children to raise, taking some of the stress off. There will be us, just 2, learning about each other and growing together. But I believe it will be a great love. I WANT to love like that again, being completely open, vulnerable and trusting of another person to hold my heart and loyalty in safe keeping. The kind of love that the binding ritual words from the Carpathian series by Christine Feehan, would make (with slight tweaking) outstanding wedding vows:
You are my lifemate.
I claim you as my lifemate.
I belong to you.
I offer my life for you.
I give you my protection.
I give you my allegiance.
I give you my heart.
I give you my soul.
I give you my body.
I take into my keeping the same that is yours.
Your life will be cherished by me for all my time.
Your life will be placed above my own for all time.
You are my lifemate.
You are bound to me for all eternity.
You are always in my care.
So one great love? Na, but I think there are at most 2, or 3 tops, in a lifetime, because that kind of love requires a lot heart and soul, and usually that is earned over the long haul.
How do YOU know love?
I know love as: a daughter, granddaughter, sister, friend, girlfriend, fiance’, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, sister-in-law, fur baby’s mama, neighbor, co-worker.