Well, you had to see that coming, didn’t you? What else could the “L” of a great life stand for but the BIG L – LOVE! Without love, how can your life be great? Good, yes. Serviceable, surely. Enjoyable, possibly. But great? Uh-uh. Don’t think so.
But what is love, really? We all bandy the term about like some sort of password into the inner sanctum, the “in word” for the “in crowd.” But how many of us truly know what it means to live, breathe and love LOVE, in all it’s forms and applications? Not so many as you would think, I would venture to guess. Let’s explore the concept a bit, shall we, and then we’ll see where we all stand on the issue.
The passionate experience of love is both familiar and easy – the love that makes your heart beat faster whenever your spouse or other loved one draws near. Also familiar, although not always as easy, is familial love, love that we feel for our parents, our children, our siblings and the nameless, abstract feeling of “home” that fills our senses whenever we’re together. And even agape, divine and Godly love, falls more easily into our grasp than some other versions as we kneel before our individual altars or objects of faith and open our hearts to the one who created us.
But what about the love we’re supposed to feel for our neighbor, even when that neighbor is a crack-addicted thief, a homosexual or a member of another religion? And what of the love for our planet and all its inhabitants, when expressing that love would mean giving up much of what we hold dear to us and and much of what constitutes life as we know it? What about love of self, even when that means acknowledging, accepting and even embracing the flaws and faults that we can’t even bear to look at, but which were created in us by the same Creator that made those more “perfect” than ourselves? What of our ability to love the loss, pain, destruction and fear that comes our way – those experiences in life that not only serve the Divine plan in ways we cannot begin to fathom, but also teach us and grow us in ways that happiness never could?
In these instances, and hundreds more like them, our expression of or ability to love is often somewhat less than foremost and heartfelt. Yet all of these, and many more like them, are as important and as required to live a truly great life as are those more comforting and pleasant experiences of love.
Where are you excelling at love? Where are you falling short? How can you balance the scales of love in your life to embrace some of the less “lovable” versions of love as well as the easier varieties? Just as the face of God is horrific in it’s beauty, so too is love sometimes awesome in its power, it’s clarity and it’s purity, burning away what is not true and replacing it with the Divine spark of absolute, unconditional love.
(c) Soni Pitts
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
She is the author of the free e-book “50 Ways To Reach Your Goals” and over 100 self-help and inspirational articles, as well as other products and resources designed to facilitate this process of personal growth and spiritual development.