Love – Is it Really Any Good?
“Love is a flower that puts out the best light.” ~ Billy Graham. ~ Mothers Words.
Love is not a emotion…it’s a verb. It gives us the will to act. Love gives us the will to act because we experience intense feelings of love when we give. The most powerful emotions that inspire action are passion and attachment. When I was in college, my best friend at the time, who was much younger than me, would sometimes call me by my first name, would come to visit when I was off at school, would buy food and drinks for me when I wasn’t home, and would buy me gifts on the spur of the moment – the kind of love that you only feel when you give.
Passion is often described as burning flame; attachment is often described as having a relationship that is emotionally or sexually satisfying. But passionate love and attachment do not distinguish between people who love each other and those who simply love another person in the same way that one does who doesn’t love another person. They are often experienced in the same ways by the same people. We can easily mistake one feeling for another, as we experience our own unique intimacy and love through different physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual components. Our emotions and feelings about another person, when they are similar to our own, can seem counterfeit and false because of our commonality with that other person.
Love includes a wide range of positive and negative emotional and mental feelings, from the highest sublime ideal of romantic love to the lowest negative form of anxiety, fear, guilt, or sadness. Positive emotions, such as happiness, joy, generosity, and optimism are often experienced when we have fulfilling and meaningful relationships. These positive emotions are rooted in our own personal love and are often the product of our relationship with another person. The intensity of these feelings are conditional – whether the relationship is meaningful or not, and whether the other person is worth the love, commitment, time, energy, and resources that we dedicate to them – and change accordingly.
Although it may seem like the opposite of unfulfilled longing, deep affection can be a powerful force for healing within your own life. When you begin to experience deep affection for another person you begin to feel inspired, excited, and full of life. This can transform your relationship with that other person, because you are inspired to give and receive instead of receiving and giving. When you are deeply in love, you don’t need to manipulate, control, or take from the other person, so you can be genuinely open and available to love in all its forms.
Lust is the powerful urge to have sexual contact with another person even if the intentions are purely casual. Even when a couple are deeply in love they may engage in occasional ‘baseball’ type activities. But deep feelings of lust can blind us to our real needs. For one thing, our physical and emotional needs are often not met when lust becomes the dominant motivator instead of love. But because of lust, people usually wind up with unsatisfying relationships, unhappy marriages, and unhappy lives.