Sunday, October 14, 2007

From the Archives:

Over the last year, this weblog has grown in its readership. I'm proud to have had the occasional opportunity to stimulate the hearts and minds of prople from all walks of life and from all over the globe. Because new readers have joined the ranks, I have decided to begin including posts from my archives. This will be occasional and adhere to no particular schedule. My recent switch to haloscan for hosting my comment threads has caused all of the comments in my previous posts to be lost. There were some posts which contained some very spirited debates and it is those posts which I intend to resurrect from time to time. Reposting articles from the archives is not an uncommon practice and lends itself to stimulating new debate and conversation among readers both new and old.

Jennifer recently posted an article asking her readers what their definition of "LOVE" was. It's a good question, one which I posted on last year. So I thought I'd bring forth from the dead, MY definition of Love.

From March 29, 2006:

A conversation came up recently which caused me to, believe it or not, ......rant. Yes ladies and gentlemen I am known, from time to time to occasionally give my opinion. Shocked though you may be, 'tis true. The subject was quite..........well, sappy for this blog because it involves matters more of the heart than of the brain, but it occupied quite a bit of my time and thought so I shall post on it anyway. Like always, I invite YOUR opinion, whether square with mine or not, in the comments section.

The subject was LOVE. Yes I am capable of it. No I'm not some calloused gun toting heartless neanderthal bastard that has no idea what it is or how to show it. I do however have a very non-secular definition of LOVE and it is there where you might choose to disagree. Your opinion may be different but I live in a free country and believe strongly in your right to be wrong!

LOVE is a very overused word. We who speak English apply it to food, movies, cars, pets, weather, kids, parents, spouses...just about anything enjoyable or desirable at the time. So, that being said I shall focus this particular issue on LOVE as that "thing" shared between a woman and a man, that "thing" which causes them to decide to spend the rest of their lives together.

I will define what I believe LOVE is by first defining what I believe it is not. It is not an emotion. Emotions come and go. They change with the weather or with the minute hand on the clock. I believe that because we apply the same word to ice cream or bike riding as we do to the relationship of a married couple, it has become diluted to the point of non-potency. It means nothing. We are jaded to the word and basically use it in place of "I am happy with this at the moment". I may have a change of opinion tomorrow, and no longer "LOVE" ice cream because it made me sick. LOVE is not a warm fuzzy feeling of strong attraction from one individual to another. That is lust. Lust is an emotion. Many relationships begin with lust...a physical attraction and grow and develop and mature into a relationship where the bond is LOVE not lust. (this is beneficial when age and gravity take their toll). Many people are fooled by believing LOVE is an emotion. They fall out of LOVE and into divorce because the relationship was based on something that is they feel.

So what is it? LOVE IS A CHOICE. It is not HOW YOU FEEL. It is the nuturing, care and cultivation you give to a relationship IN SPITE OF HOW YOU FEEL. It's easy to nurture a relationship when all is well. It's when times are tough, and you don't quite feel like giving LOVE that LOVE shows itself in its purest form. The only thing that can cause you to give that truest form of LOVE is commitment. In other words, "I promised to LOVE you until I die, no matter what, and although you've made me angry (an emotion) and I don't feel like loving you, I will choose right now to stick with my commitment and LOVE you still. And the next time you make me angry, I will choose, right then and there, to LOVE you again. I will make this choice every day for no other reason than because I promised you I would." There is a durability, a concreteness and permanence to a promise like that. It is binding to a greater degree than being merely contractual. It's something you can count on, no matter what.

Now with LOVE comes action, the plate on which LOVE is served, the vehicle by which LOVE is conveyed. Sometimes that action is simply the omission of an act, like refraining from saying what you think or feel. ( I sometimes have a hard time with that one.) It's what you do or don't do that reaffirms to the other that despite current circumstances you shall not forsake your bond with them.

Think of LOVEs lost, either by you or someone you know. What went wrong? What happened? I guarantee you no matter what, you will find that at some point the commitment was abandoned and forsaken, and it was at that point that LOVE hopped the bus. It's a common state of affairs today to be led by ones emotions, to make decisions based on how one feels, even when those decisions conflict with a promise given. To be led by one's emotions is truly a childish thing, yet divorces are filed every minute of every day based on just that. Where wisdom, maturity, honor and commitment exist in a relationship, so too dwells true LOVE.