The Will to Love Fully

Many people have love confused with emotion and feelings. They consider themselves “In Love” and sing giddily about how “It Feels So Good or So Right”. They speak on the “Chemistry” and how you can’t “Control Who You Love or How Much You Love Them.” But when people no longer feel that emotional high that comes from the ever elusive idea of “chemistry” and being “in love”, reality sets in and the lyrics change to “The Thrill Is Gone” and “Didn’t We Almost Have It All”.

People move on to the next one, the next person to give them that “How High” feeling, that chemistry, that excitement of new, fresh, uncharted territory.

Though I love Mary J Blige and Aretha Franklin and Donna Summers and Whitney Houston and Patti LaBelle and all of those lovely ladies who sing of love lost and found again, I have to keep it raw (cause if it ain’t raw it ain’t real, right Luvologist?): REAL LOVE TAKES WORK.

You see, we have all been blinded by love songs and Lifetime movies. Love isn’t about how you feel or about how you feel when you’re with someone. In fact, love really isn’t about you at all. Real love (true never-ending-always-constant-consistent love) is the most selfless act you could ever engage in. Real love requires that you give and not receive.

The act of marriage (no matter your orientation) isn’t what conservative pundits and political extremists make it out to be. Certainly, one can make the argument that it’s supposed to be a man and woman, but that’s really not the point that God intended for people to get stuck on. What marriage is supposed to do is create an environment in which we shed our selfish nature and give ourselves over to loving another human being selflessly, unconditionally, without expectation, and fully engaged the way that God loves us—eternally, abundantly and without strings.

So as I said before: REAL LOVE TAKES WORK. And not the kind of work that we put in to, say, a job or cleaning our homes—real love involves retraining and restraining the will from self preservation and self service to self denial and selfless giving.

All that I am saying here flies in the face of how we are raised and how we view life. Everything (at least in my generation) has been couched in terms of “what’s in it for me”; “how will it benefit me”; “I can do bad by myself”; “when is somebody gonna love me”; “I need someone to accept me the way that I am or having nothing at all”. Notice that? All of those me’s and I’s?

It’s those me’s and I’s that cause you to rush to separation and divorce. It’s those me’s and I’s that force you to jump from relationship to relationship seeking thrill after thrill. It’s those selfish little words that drive you into loneliness, desiring an intimacy that you never seem to achieve with any man or woman that you’re with.

Some will read this and say: I choose not to lose myself, and so I refuse to get done like this. I challenge that thought process. Only someone truly solid in themselves—not needing another person to provide stop-gaps in our hearts and minds—can love another human being this way. Only when you have gained a strong grasp of who you are can you freely walk in love that doesn’t put you first all of the time.

So as you move into your next relationship, I want you to slow down and check yourself. Why are you in that relationship? Are you trying to use the other person to fill a need? Are you with that person because you’re trying to use them to complete you? Or are you with them because you believe that you can love them fully?

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