Many of us have concluded that love is a feeling. The challenge with that conclusion is that feelings are impossible to define and quantify. Identical experiences can, for example, cause one person to feel anger, while that same experience will provoke feelings of compassion in someone else.
When it comes to the subject of love, especially romantic love, I believe that our feelings and emotions dictate our decisions, our choices, and our actions. How we feel about another person, and how that person “makes” us feel, are the criteria we apply to judge whether a loving relationship exists. Too often, we give no credence to the fact that love is a verb – it is our behavior that is the finest yardstick with which to measure love.
Do we behave with kindness and affection toward the person we love? Are we committed to his/her welfare? Are we tolerant of the “flawed humanity” that is present in each of us? Do we engage in practical acts of service, and random acts of kindness (without the need to reveal them)? Do our words empower him/her, or do those words leave that person hurting and weak? Most importantly, do we subordinate our needs, without expecting anything in return?
It is the actions we take, and not our feelings or intentions, that shout I love you! Whether it is our significant other, our children, our parents, or a good friend, how we feel has very little to do with love. The only thing that really matters is our conduct. Feelings habitually ebb and flow, but we can make the choice to engage in consistent, loving behavior.
LOVE is indeed a verb…
© John G. 2021