Monday, 30 October 2017

The God Factor of Love

When you look at a mirror what do you see? An image of yourself, isn’t it? But who are you exactly? Have you ever sat down to have some alone time about who you really are? If someone walked up to you and asked you to name five things that define you uniquely, what would you say? How long would you have thought about them? Would any of them have anything to do with love?
I think something common to all of us is love. We all know what love is, and we feel it when it is experienced. Pure love is unconditional and can be perceived even without action. Now, is there usually an intention behind love?

I think so. I also think this is what differentiates between the types of love widely acknowledged as unconditional and conditional.
Love proceeds from a source. Like an electric spark, it is ignited from deep within us. Scientists have a story to tell about the chemistry. Love is either sustained or allowed to die out just like an electric spark. I have noticed over time that as human beings, we have a desire to nurture what we know and are comfortable with, like habits and hobbies. However, things that require sacrifice and deliberate efforts to sustain, we struggle with. So, what am I talking about? My Christian religious belief teaches us to love God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind and with all our strength; and our neighbours as ourselves (unconditionally) (Mark 12: 30-31). My religious belief teaches us men to love our spouses just like Jesus Christ loved the Church (Ephesians 5:25). My religious belief teaches us to love our Children unconditionally (Ephesians 6:4). Similar teachings may exist in other religions. But just how difficult are these teachings? Don’t ask me, and if you like, pretend you are from Planet Mars.
I sometimes feel many of us don’t know that love must actually start from within ourselves first. If you don’t know how to love spiritually, you may not know how to love conditionally. You would simply fail woefully if you tried to give what you don’t have. You cannot also express something you don’t know. So, yes! Many people don’t know what love is. My religious belief teaches us to love ourselves. This is tricky because it is possible to easily go overboard. When I say love yourself, I don’t mean excess attention to your body or material things for self. Don’t forget you have a soul, and in fact, that is the real you. That is if you believe in the afterlife. So how can someone love his or her soul? Very simple. You have to enrich yourself spiritually and cleanse yourself of sin as often as you commit them. You also have to constantly make effort to avoid sinning – that is offending God. Since your soul resides in your body, your body also requires your love and attention. That is why you take your bath, brush your teeth, eat food and shave here and there, and wear makeup and clothes.
Love cannot accurately be measured. No matter how much love you think you are expressing, you are only making an attempt of what is actually possible. The word love has become a normal vocabulary in everyday use. How many of you know what love is in your local dialect? Now do you know what love is in any other dialect? I got you on that one. You see, the word love has a very deep meaning. It was part of the fabric that formed our essence right from the beginning of creation. For those of us that believe in creationism, God’s breath into Adam carried love. So if we came out from one cell and evolved like we were taught, how did we come about this difficult, complex, and often misunderstood feeling called love? Anyway, no debates today.
There are usually more than one person we like to be with every time. We are either attracted to them because they are beautiful or handsome, or the way they dress, talk, walk, laugh, and so on and so forth. You know the drill. Sometimes we feel we love them all. So, love for another human can be conditional. In this example, we are attracted to others and feel the desire to be with them without any hindrances. However, when you achieve being with someone without hindrances, the truth hits you. We all know the truth is harsh. You get to know how deep your feelings truly are for that person. The depth of love is the strength of human relationships. Keep in mind that conditional love has no permanent home. It needs to be serviced just like your body. You need to learn how to service it to keep it fresh or at least sustain it. Love grows old too. There are those little things that make a huge difference when taken for granted. Love is expressed through energy, and trust me, you will always run into other people who will pull your love energy. Whether you let it go is another thing. Remember, it is possible to love more than one person at the same time, but you cannot conditionally love any two human beings equally. You love someone conditionally because of something he or she possesses that attracts you. Unconditional love is foundational and endless. For example, the bond you feel for your parents, siblings and children. You simply would not do anything to them that you wouldn’t want for yourself. Of course! There are some exceptions but the fact remains. This rule is universal but often broken where conditional love exists.

Since we are all unique, how is it possible for you to love equally on conditional bases? Here is my personal conviction. Since love proceeds from God, you have to love God and love yourself. On this premise, you can develop unconditional love for all humans especially those related to you by blood. Furthermore, you can begin to love specific people conditionally because of unique attractions. You are not capable of true love if you are not in communion with God. As someone close to me once said, any human relationship based on love can be likened to a triangle of equal sides at first. God is on top, and the persons are on either side. If both persons continue to move towards God together, the relationship remains relatively stable. The moment one person begins to drift away from God, the relationship becomes skewed and unstable. Seek God and you will find true love.