It’s one of the those unanswerable – impossible to know for certain – not “black and white” situation – type of questions. It’s the kind of question everyone has a confident answer to give to someone else but can never find any certainty with in their own lives.
Do they love me?
Actually there are several very popular versions of this single question.
Do they REALLY love me?
and then the popular…
Do they really LOVE love me?
and the classic precisely worded:
I know they LOVE me – but…are they IN love with me?
Could be a husband or wife, a boyfriend or girlfriend, brother or sister or entire family, a best friend, or your oldest most trusted friend.
Doesn’t have to be a romantic love (although usually it is)
Whatever the relationship everyone has found themselves asking themselves asking this question more times than they could likely remember. Usually, repeatedly – and almost always without ever coming to a concrete final answer they place enough faith in to not end up re-asking themselves the same question later.
With so much room for reasonable doubt, it’s easy to see why it’s rare for anyone to reach a confident final verdict. It’s why this is one of those questions no one can really answer.
Unless almost everyone is wrong (hint – they are).
Unless answering this un-answerable question really isn’t that impossible to answer at all – maybe it’s the opposite. Maybe the answer is missed because finding the truth is much much easier than people want to realize (hint #2: it is)
Imagine, the same is true for you that you already know is true for everyone else – That you (and yes- me too) have been needless complicating and misdefining LOVE to the degree it either means nothing at all or anything desired.
All of this re-defining, misapplying, uselessly and eternally perverting the essence of what love really is at least partially rooted in this insane new belief that anything a person believes somehow, illogically has ANY effect on if that factual thing is a factual thing.
The very essence of love is known by it’s characteristics. You may have heard a few of them like:
does not dishonor
is not self-seeking
not easily angered
keeps no record of wrongs
does not delight in its own way
We think we can re-define things based on our own worshipped opinions. I’ve even heard this ridiculous endlessly stupid phrase uttered countless times:
“Pray a prayer to the ‘higher power’ as you define that higher power.”
Say what??? How is it I have the power, right, ability, or access to DEFINE a power HIGHER THAN ME???
If my dog decides to define me as his pet it changes nothing. It only makes my dog dumber and more likely to do something me as his owner has decided will make me discipline him.
It might make my dog more likely to run into traffic or tear my leather couch or jump on my dinner table because somehow my dog defined me as someone I’m not.
LOVE has been twisted and perverted and redefined the same way.
No one has the right to act selfishly, angrily, with assumption, with vengeance, with the intent to wound the other person or humiliate them or get even with them or manipulate them and then be SUPREMELY stupid enough or self IDOLIZING enough to then claim they “LOVE” that other person.
One of the first popular examples of this kind of sheer ignorance was when this idea started being claimed as “truth” that “I ‘love’ this person as long as it’s good for me, and helps cultivate my own sense of purpose and what I want to do with my life. BUT if or when this person no longer fits in my life journey then it’s ok for me to let them go because the time and season for them has come and gone. (insert expression and tone of voice that is drenched in self identified profound deepness)
That is without question the MOST incredibly idiotic, self conflicting, self serving, baseless, nonsense filled, worthless version of worthless ‘love’ anyone could hold.
This new version of “love” is IN FACT the total and complete OPPOSITE of REAL LOVE. It’s SELF LOVE – and love isn’t about ‘self’ – it’s about sacrificing of yourself for the sake of the one you truly do love.
And another thing – real love can’t help it. It actually sincerely WANTS to hurt in place of allowing the one they ache for to keep hurting. It WANTS to sacrifice for the sake of the other person. Because true love hurts more knowing that person is hurting more then they do from their own wounds.
That’s love – and it’s exceedingly rare in this world now more than ever – amazingly rare compared to what it was just 20 years ago.
You ever consider the powerful but IGNORED connection to the greatest loves in a lifetime and the suffering and sacrifice that always seems to be connected but no one talks about?
Mom or Dad and a baby – most people believe its the most powerful. But consider just how much a newborn GIVES to their MOM or DAD. Nothing in terms of “assists” measured by worth in this world.
• A baby boy or girl contributes nothing to housework.
• Adds no income to help with bills
• Never cleans up after itself or cooks for anyone else
• Poops on anything and everything
• Drains sleep
• Demands time
• Requires atention
• Selective and unpredictable about food
• Never says “Thank You”
• Never considers your emotions, thoughts, feelings, or sacrifices
• Stays in a constant state of dependence without a sign of embarrassment
• 100% ignorant of the personal costs and losses taken from your life for theirs
And if you’ve ever been blessed enough to have the gift of a baby in your life and you aren’t a psychotic ass of a human then you already know there is no greater sense of pure JOY than holding that precious adorable irresistible baby in your arms and making endless internal vows to yourself and God Almighty that nothing will hurt the 10 pounds of fussy oblivious source of relentless demands that fills your chest and life with more love than you ever thought you could process before they came into your life and added endless meaning to it.
LOVE is intimately connected to willing SUFFERING.
There was a book written about JOY – I think it was by Phillip Nancy but not certain.
He studied JOY and LOVE and why and how people feel the most of each to try and identify a common cause.
According to a list of metrics developed to measure JOY in a life the most HAPPY person he could find on the planet was someone who had walked away from a great job in the US and dedicated his life to taking care of a man utterly and completely robbed of movement. A quadriplegic who relied on him for every single aspect of his life for every second of his life. It cost this man a great deal to walk away and it cost him so much more in terms of time, payment, strength, recognition, material gains, free time, life goals, and anything else we treasure in this culture which makes for very poor treasure deep inside us where we all ache for purpose.
This man walked away from what we consider the gold of life and willing gave his life away for someone without the means to ever repay him – BUT somehow he was the happiest man on Earth in more ways than anyone else the author could find.
But now – this enlightened age of stupidity and self fulfillment at the cost of resisting any avoidable sacrifice, the true definition of love is being lost – at the same time the unmatchable worth of sacrifice in the name of and for the sake of love is being erased completely.
Now love comes and goes with the scale of “what you add or take from my life, time, bank, purpose, goals, sense of self” – If you give me enough and we agree on enough and you don’t need too much and you prove you are enough without anyone else and I can know you won’t push in on my identity too much – then we can be in love forever despite the fact that no one can find a single couple, story, or version of this utter false and idiotic “love” that has ever worked in the history of humankind.
But hell – we’re enlightened right? So we cling to this unicorn childish version of adult modern day love, cut loose anyone who doesn’t line up or keeps us from the dream job or condo we’ve been working so damn hard for – and keep choosing to have faith one day we’ll find this other significant person to fill that void without needing to significant resources from us that we already need for our own journey.
And no one can find it because it’s NEVER been real and it never will be.
True love is rare but it can be found in all the places or people are wise enough to be looking.
But as rare as it is find in someone else- it’s even more powerful and wonderful if you choose to live it out. (Again – also indescribably painful in most cases)
There is one good thing I can see that comes from a world that keeps re-defining love as if it’s some silly putty emotion that fits into whatever shape or need they happen to want “love” to justify at any given time – and it’s this:
TRUE LOVE IS more UNMISSABLE now than ever.
You want to know if one person loves another – all you have to do is watch them, and it likely won’t take very long.
Do they say kind things or self defending selfish things
Do they allow the other person to voice hurts or share concern without being belittled or mocked?
If they have to disappoint the person they love or anyone else – Do they disappoint the person they love because they know that person will “get over it” or create less drama than disappointing other people?
Do they use the wounds of the person they claim to love to win a fight or get their way or do they consider the wounds of that person to be sacred ground and seek to heal those scars more than use them to manipulate or shame them?
Do they build up the person or tear them down consistently
Do they SACRIFICE willingly or agree resentfully
Do they feel more joy from creating joy in the other person or from getting what they want
Do they defend or slander
Do they show mercy or do they need to be feared
Do they fight for their own rights or look for moments to lay down what they could claim to make the one they love KNOW they’re cherished?
It’s not hard to recognize true love in a world as selfish, greedy, warped and foolish as this one.
But finding it is almost impossible.
The trick is to stop looking for the one person who completes you without altering you or costing you anything of worth – and start seeing the unreal joy that comes from finding the person who smiles the most when they have the chance to carry some of your hurt, wants to know what life is like living every day willingly excitedly allowing you to invade and alter their lives and personality and goals – and considers everything you cost them in return as an honor to give to you for the simple joy of being a meaningful part of the story that’s your life.
Find that person – even if they’re standing in the unemployment line one day or not driving the same Bently as the last two asscranks you dated – and see how much they add to your life, your depth, your life meaning, and your joy compared to endlessly larger bank accounts and I think anyone would understand why some of the richest people in the world are miserable, multi-divorced, drugged into numbness, suicidal, or filled with anti-depressants.
But yeah – real love is not hard to recognize.
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