All You Need Is Love
Love, on the other hand, is a bit more difficult. These days love is considered an emotion, a good feeling - which most often finds its expression in bed (or the back seat of a car or wherever). And the truth is, sex has been largely divorced from love now-a-days anyway and so what's left when we consider love is just a feeling. Thus folks fall in and out of "love" - in and out of bed - rather frequently in our day and age. The result is, hurt is often carried for a lifetime.
But the fact is, love is much more than a feeling. Certainly emotion is part of the mix - but that's just one of the ingredients. The emotion we call love is often present by itself; it requires the other components of love in order to be complete.
For instance, true love includes an element of patience. No, that's not really forceful enough. It's more accurate to say true love will suffer a long time because of, or on behalf of, the one you love. For example, if you really love someone you'll be ready to put up with the worst thing about them no matter what it is. At the same time you'll be willing to endure slights, gossip, rejection or whatever else because of your commitment to the one you love. And you'll be willing to suffer through either situation indefinitely.
Another ingredient of true love is kindness. This element is active as opposed to passive (putting up with something). Kindness is a friendly, "useful" part of love which looks for ways to make life a little better for the object of your affection.
You may think that after putting up with and putting out for someone you would have the right to cut back a bit and expect a little of the same treatment in return. However, a third item in true love is a lack of envy. If you really love someone you won't begrudge the good things that come their way even if you're not getting "your fair share" in return.
All of this makes love sound like a lot of work. Where's the romance (and pleasure), in that? Well, we're talking about love here, remember? There is romance and pleasure aplenty for those who are truly in love. Think of the old tales of romantic love. There was always a component of sacrifice - of tragedy. And as we shall see over the next few weeks, they weren't too far off the mark.
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