It almost goes without saying that love is the theme we are confronted with more than any other these days. It’s rare to see a movie or hear a song that doesn’t include the theme of love. Romance novels sell by the millions. Television shows constantly portray love relationships. Commercials and ads give us the impression that if we use a certain product, then we, too, can be irresistible to that special person. All in all, the message that comes through the media is that if we are only loved, then we will be happy and life will be perfect. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?
However, the real essence of love is very different. There is something more wonderful than being loved. It is loving. In 20th century life, where there is such an emphasis of getting…..getting the right car, getting the right shampoo, getting the right job, etc. We have come to regard love as just another thing to be obtained. However, strange as it may seem, there is even more satisfaction in loving, that is, giving your love to someone else. The essence of love is doing something for another person’s benefit – putting a priority on their welfare. So therefore, it doesn’t have to be romantic at all. To benefit from the act of loving, you do not have to be in love with the other person, you simply have to prize their happiness.
Of course, with something so valuable in life, there are bound to be counterfeits.
We often mistake sex for love, but sex alone cannot bring genuine satisfaction, nor can it hold a relationship together on its own. We occasionally mistake admiration for love, and think that if people would look up to us, then we would feel loved and worthwhile. But this, too, never lasts. Sometimes we try to fool others into believing that we love them only in the hope that they will do something for us. But this is not real love, it is manipulation.
The best way to keep a healthy outlook is to follow St. Valentin’s example: Be Loving. By so doing, you will enjoy others’ happiness and feel worthwhile for contributing to their life. It’s a terrific way to feel good about yourself too. If you don’t believe me, try it. See if it works. I’ll be you won’t be disappointed.