Reflections on Love

by Orly Wahba

Love exists in so many forms, each beautiful and unique in their own way. Love between a parent and child, husband and wife, teacher and student, friends, family, love of self, etc… I don’t think any two people love in the same way. It’s something personal and internal. It’s the way we interact with the world but it begins with the way we interact with ourselves. For some love is just a word thrown around like confetti. For others loved is sacred only shared with those close enough to be vulnerable with. But for all, love is something all consuming, unconditional and in my humble opinion it can never be truly understood because love grows and with growth comes change in interpretation and meaning. Love grows because we grow. When we grow our perception of love shifts and develops.

Some people believe you can only truly love a quantifiable amount of people, but I’ve never been one to believe that. I have experienced love in some of the most intense and remarkable ways. I have always said that I fall in love with people more and more each day. Why?

To LOVE is to give! When we give wholeheartedly, without expectation of receiving something in return – we come to love the object of our love more and more with each passing moment. When two people give wholeheartedly to one another – their love and bond grows deeper and deeper through each moment of giving.

But what of unrequited love? Why does it exist? Afterall, if like attracts like then shouldn’t someone who loves another wholeheartedly receive that same love in return? The answer is no. The real question we should be asking is where is that love and that giving coming from? Is it coming from a place of strength or from a place of weakness?

Oftentimes people get the two confused but they are polar opposites. Giving from weakness feels like sacrifice. When you give to the object of your love from a place of weakness, the danger is that you will come to resent that same person one day. Why? Because the likelihood is that you’re giving in order to feel worthy as opposed to giving because you feel worthy. Giving should NEVER feel like sacrifice. In fact when we give from a place of strength we’re filled with a sense of abundance and plentitude; it’s as though we are a candle giving of our light to others but never being depleted of our internal and inherent fire and energy. I’ve always said that when giving begins to feel like sacrifice, stop giving right away and start turning that giving towards yourself.

Once you’ve mastered giving from strength, your love will become deeper and endless. How do we know that giving is the root of love? Think about the love a parent has for their child. A parent will always love a child more than a child will love a parent. Why? Simple – it’s the giving principle. A parent is constantly and unconditionally giving to their child from a place of strength. The more they give, the more connected they are to their child.

In today’s world – why is it that we see such an increase in divorce? Why is it so much harder for people to “fall” in love? Why are people searching tirelessly for their other half? In my opinion, we live in a time of instant gratification. We press a button and presto something happens. If our cell phone doesn’t respond almost instantly to our touch, we are already considering getting the new model. It’s not our fault – we have been conditioned this way because the fast pace we find ourselves going at. A person simply receives benefit from their cell phone, we don’t give back to our cell phones. It’s a one way relationship. And so when we feel like we are not receiving any more – we toss it away. But love is not a cell phone. It’s something that requires work, effort and the concept of GIVING! When we don’t give to the object of our affection, how can we expect to love deeply. It’s by giving that that bond is developed. A healthy relationship is built on both giving and receiving. This is diametrically opposed to giving to receive. If you give solely for the purpose of receiving, love cannot flourish and grow – it’s stunted.

So what do we do? Perhaps the answer is look inwardly and recognize that we are loved regardless of whether someone proclaims their love for us. It’s only when you internalize love for self that you can then love and give outwardly from a place of strength because you are no longer giving and loving to be accepted – you are accepted regardless of someone else’s love.

Once we can completely give just to give and allow others to give us in return, can we begin to comprehend the vast abyss of that which we call “LOVE.”

As it’s said in one of my favorite movies, Moulin Rouge, “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”


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