What is Love, Anyway?

OK, I will start by apologizing if any of you now can’t stop singing the 80s song with the above title. That’s been the case for me ever since I thought of the title for this article πŸ™‚ Anyway, as we approach Valentines Day, I thought this would be an appropriate topic to discuss.

Every Valentines Day, we hear plenty about the topic of love. But what is love, really? We hear that God is love. If you read the Bible, you will find plenty of definitions of what love is. However, the definition of love I will share here may not be one of the exact definitions you will find in the Bible, but instead is the most helpful definition for me.

The most relevant and helpful definition of love I have ever found is one that comes from Eckhart Tolle in his classic book, “The Power of Now.” It’s an incredible book that I highly recommend. Honestly, it’s not the easiest book to read, and I’ve had to go through it a few times. However, it is well worth it. At one point in the book, he describes love as simply seeing God in someone or something. When you think about this definition, it makes total sense. The spirit of God is within you. It is within everyone. When you “love” someone, in essence, you are acknowledging and appreciate that fact. When you say “I love you” you are in essence saying, “I see and appreciate the spirit of God in you.” This has really helped me with self-love. Throughout most of my life, I have struggled to love myself. I have learned to appreciate who I am, but when I think of myself as someone created in the image of God, and someone who is a temple of God’s spirit, I am practicing the healthiest form of self-love!

Since I’ve began seeing love in this way, I notice an interesting thing that happens. The level of love in my life increases! That’s because when you focus on something mentally, you see more of it in the physical world. When I see myself and others as the loving energy of God, I experience more of it. This type of focus also enables you to have greater impacts on those around you. One reason for that is that you are increasing the “love energy” in your world. The Bible says God is love. And God is the limitless energy in and around everyone. When you see others as shining lights of God’s love, you impact that energy in a positive way, and that positive energy spreads further and further. Watch how simple this is…. you can impact countless people (and yourself since you are part of this great energy too) simply by controlling your thoughts and focusing on the spirit of God that lives in everyone and seeing them as being created in His image. That’s it! Now, I know there are actions we need to take to demonstrate love. However, when you are in this state of mind, the ideas for those actions seem to come automatically. Then people are really impacted by your attitude of love.

You may think I’m getting a bit technical here, but I believe it is very simple. For me, when I define love as seeing God in myself and others, the positive energy in and around me dramatically increases. Not only does it add to my joy, but it adds love, joy, peace, and all other positive emotions to those around me. The same is true for you. I challenge you to see others as the love of God and as beings in His image. I am confident that your attitude about them will be more positive, and it will come back at you in a major positive way as well. I believe that’s a life we can all love. Happy Valentines Day!

12 Responses to What is Love, Anyway?

  1. I needed that, thank you πŸ™‚

  2. juliearahm says:

    One of the greatest compliments one can be given by someone is to be told they have come to know God’s love because of you! This exact thing happened to me about 2 years ago. I was in awe! Thinking…who, me? Yes! Of course I am capable of showing God’s love through my actions. I never really looked at myself that way, rather just a friend who cares deeply and passionately.

    My presence, touch (that of a hug), kind words, handwritten letters/notes, outreach (giving small tokens/gifts/ basic supplies-without expecting anything in return, simply put just to give to brighten their day for the joy I knew it would bring). God’s love can be spread so easily. A simple gesture will do. I’m grateful for God’s presence, His wisdom, His guidance, His intervention, His timing, helping me help other people in need. An ounce of compassion goes a long ways.

    What you focus on, you get more of! Yes!

    I learned about this my 1st year of teaching (and I am currently in my 13th). The perspective then was on the behaviors and “bad” and/or “negative” sorts of behaviors happening in the classroom. If I were to focus on everything that was going wrong, how frustrating my day was, what we were not able to do, my job became less enjoyable.

    With much patience, time and practice, I’ve learned to change my focus and see all the good things that were happening. Behavior was not something to be taken personally rather as a form of communication. I have fallen deeper in love with what I do, at a depth much greater than I had ever known!! With this change, I’ve heard more positive feedback, expressions of gratitude from my students’ families. With their expressions of kindness and love, I know I have been changing for the better, becoming more like Christ, one day at a time.

    Love knows no boundaries. I am grateful for He has helped me to open my eyes and “see” the world through a new lens.

    • joedalio says:

      As a fellow teacher, I have fought that same battle! I realize more than ever (as I am in my 18th year) that how I see my students totally affects my level of satisfaction at the job. If I see them as obstacles to my joy, that’s what they are. However, when I see them lovingly as God does, I make the positive impacts I feel like I am there to make. Then the job is not frustrating work, but rewarding instead. I realize more that this is true in every other area of my life too. The solution is that simple. It’s just a matter of taking thoughts captive and being disciplined in our thinking. Like you say…patience, time, and practice πŸ™‚

  3. jakemwaniki says:

    Lovely post. It’s true. Self love is vital before another individual. Most importantly it’s God’s love.

  4. sykeology219 says:

    While I do not ascribe to the Christian translation of the world, I do believe Jesus walked the earth and was an amazing man who embodied tolerance, acceptance, understanding and, in short, love. I am a spiritual person meaning I see all the religions and philosophies and build my own system. I believe God is Nature. This is a very interesting and uplifting read. Thank you for posting it.

    • joedalio says:

      I appreciate you commenting and sharing your beliefs. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received is to live as a spiritual being having an occasional human experience instead of living as a human being having an occasional spiritual experience. By being a spiritual person, I believe this life will be a much better experience πŸ™‚

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