What is True Love?

>> Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The following is an answer that Steph gave to the question on a friend's blog, "Is true love when you pray for someone else more than you pray for yourself?" I felt Steph's answer was so outstanding that it bore repeating.

I don't think that love has anything to do with prayer at all. True love is hard to define, hard to recognize, and hard to maintain, and yet it's the easiest thing in the world–despite all this–when it's right. When you love, the other person's needs–both big and small, important and trivial–mean as much to you as your own, even when that's not easy. It is friendship first and foremost, shared goals secondly, romance thirdly, and sexual lastly.

Love is paradoxical: as the physical passions mellow, the spiritual/emotional/intellectual passions grow hot. Love is evolution, love is constant change, love is constant redefining, love is constant re-invention. If you want a blissful life with no challenges, no trials, and no sacrifice–especially on the deepest personal level of self-definition and personal self-awareness, then run away, because love is a furnace that fires your darkest, stoniest coals down to pure diamonds. And as I've learned personally, Great Love exacts a great price; it is not free and it is not a gift, it is something that is earned both by the individuals and by the couple.

Sound trite or cliche? Take it from someone who made a lot of mistakes looking for love, but was finally found by it at the age of 48. If you're impatient, you will make impatient choices.

One last cliche: you cannot look for love outside of yourself. You must find it within and then wait for your readied soul to draw the right person to you. The hunger for love should not be confused with the desire for marriage or for having children; it must exist in and of itself, and when you are ready for them, your soul mate will appear. No sooner and no later.

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