The Key To Love
There are many different types of love — for partners, relatives, friends, even for nature and the world around us. But where does love come from? And how do we know whether the love we feel is true Love?
In movies and stories we are often confronted with the one type of love we know best: romantic love. Yet, according to C.S. Lewis this is just one aspect of love. He describes at least 4 main categories.
Every relationship includes a mix of different love styles depending on the participants and the context. However, in all cases there is a connection and a flow of energy between the lovers. As long as the relationship is fed with energy, with feelings, it comes alive and love blossoms.
As time passes, people change and the type of love also changes. It sometimes diminishes and may even disappear. Most of us are familiar with the pain and frustrations of unanswered love.
These fluctuations of feelings tell us that the human love we know is not Love with a capital L. The Bible speaks of Love in a very different sense:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
(1 Corinthians 13:4–7)
From the above, it is easy to understand that this Love has nothing to do with our familiar feelings of love, even in its most ideal interpretation. But how can we truly love in this way?
If we try, we understand that true Love cannot be trained and cultivated. It rather is a manifestation of something much deeper. To understand this, let us turn again to the New Testament:
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
(1 John 4:8)
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: he has given us of his Spirit.
(1 John 4:12–13)
However you choose to interpret the word “God” does not matter: the texts are not always meant to be understood literally. It is enough to realize that Love is a universal force that can flow through us if we purify ourselves and agree to work in service of this mysterious power.
We, as nature born humans, are not aware of “God” in us, we are not always consciously connected. Therefore, we do not have true Love. The reason for this can be found in the Sermon on the Mount:
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
For most of our upbringing, our habits and automatic responses are built on the basis of self-maintenance and the subjective evaluation of others from our own limited perspective.
The problem with subjectivity is that we do not have a clear view of either ourselves or others. Any evaluation we make is inaccurate. Judgement is standing in the way between us and reality.
Because of criticism and judgement (of ourselves or others) we close down and separate ourselves through inner walls. In this state of separation and non-acceptance, there is no room for Love.
Enlighten yourself and be aware of this mechanism in you.
When we truly understand ourselves, we realize that at our core we are no different from the others we judge. All of us have flaws that are actually very similar to the flaws of others we criticize.
By accepting ourselves and others with all of our shortcomings we will open our inner being to all creatures and the world around us, and we will thus create room for the growth of Love within us.
In a participatory process with other like-minded people, a space will be created in which others seeking “God” can be accepted. It is a process of gaining awareness, understanding, and acceptance.
When we are healed from the attachments to our old habits and automatic responses, we are increasingly able to openly share and receive Love.
Thus, the true Love that is for everyone and everything will gradually manifest and become alive within us.