I Love You
What is love? Most of us feel it – or have felt it – and yet, what we think of as love and what is true love might not be the same thing. In fact, they may even be complete opposites.
At its core, when we refer to love, it is often rooted in self-love. This can be clarified with a parable. A man walks into a restaurant. The waiter asks him what he would like, and he responds, “I love fish!” Naturally, the choicest fish is filleted, cooked, and served up on a nice plate. The man then proceeds to chew and swallow the entire thing.
Is this how one treats something he loves?
The story sounds simple, and yet it reveals a profound lesson. For many of us, when we say, “I love you,” it is really the “I” that we love. We love what we get from people or things. They are all extensions of our ego’s selfishness.
Think about the many relationships in our lives. How many of them are focused on what we get rather than what we give? If we are honest with ourselves, then we will see that what we view as love is often seen in terms of what we receive from the relationship, be it emotional or physical. We love people who give to us, and we view loving relationships as ones in which our friends and spouses give us something. And while it is true that in any relationship one needs to be receiving, it cannot be solely based on that.
The more important basis of a relationship is giving.
Kabbalistically, a true relationship is when one enjoys the sharing more than the receiving. That’s true love. This means that my love for another person awakens within me a greater joy of giving to rather than receiving from them. True love is when my connection towards another person - and the love I feel for that person - makes it as enjoyable and fulfilling to share with him or her as it is to receive from that person.
When viewed in this way, how many of our relationships are truly based on love for the other person where our desire to share is greater than our desire to receive?
This isn’t simply an interesting concept. It is also the key to a sustainable, growing relationship - one that’s destined to last. Life – and the blessings in our lives, including our relationships – is sustained by the Light of the Creator. The way to bring more of the Light into our relationships is to maintain constant appreciation and a desire to impart. This is what keeps our love alive and growing.
However, the opposite is true as well. Love founded on “what can I get?” will always crumble because it is not bringing in the Light of the Creator which can sustain it. When we work and focus our relationships on sharing more than receiving, we bring the Light into them so they can truly grow and last forever.
This week assess your relationships and decide which ones you want to make last. Now that you are clear on what the deciding forces are, put what you’ve learned into action by awakening a greater desire to find little and big ways to share with your spouse, lover, kids, siblings, and friends. Do this knowing it will bring the Light of the Creator into your loving bonds, thereby making them strong, sustainable, and ever-lasting.
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