Today, I have love on my mind. Not because of any one person or thing.
I am exploring only the true nature of love. Not a new pursuit for me; definitely a topic that has been researched, mused and written about since forever.
On my mind today in particular is the difference between loving a person and being in love with that person.
Being “in love” connotates a temporary state of love; moreover, a love of shallow depth but certain potential intensity to it: the way a person makes you feel when you are together. That person can make you laugh when you want to cry, and, conversely, make you scream and yell when you know what you need to do is calm down and breath.
It is an elusive state, transitory depending on the situation, surface level. It is all about how you feel. Hence, it is fleeting and selfish.
To “love” is permanent. Love the makeup of the person: no matter what that person looks like from one day to the next; no matter what mood that person is in today over yesterday, or now over this morning at breakfast. It is a deep, complex connection that cannot be swayed easily by passing emotions or moods.
It is a permanent state of respect, understanding, compassion. Hence, it is selfless, stable, multi-layered, and multi-faceted. Sometimes it is not easy to explain in words.
Of course, St. Paul said it best in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7.
Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not jealous, it does not put on airs, it is not snobbish. Love is never rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not prone to anger, neither does it brood over injuries. Love does not rejoice in what is wrong but rejoices with the truth. There is no limit to love’s forbearance, to its trust, its hope, its power to endure.
Need I add more? No.
Next time you are tempted to say “I am in love with…” or “I love…..”, look to aspire to St. Paul’s standards.
Then ask yourself: “Do I really love…or am I in love?”
If you are completely honest with yourself in your answers, the truth about the type of love you feel will be clear.
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