The Greater Love
Why is language so confused (and confusing) when it comes to love? Why are so many people confused about love?
Falling in love has little to do with love and yet love is the word that is used. Infatuation and attraction are some of the words that describe what people experience when they say “I fell in love”. When attraction and infatuation fade they say, “We just fell out of love.” It’s not surprising that so many young people are confused about love.
‘Falling in love’ infers that we stumble into love without effort, without thought and most importantly, without the mindset that relationships require work and a steady influx of renewal and recommitment. We can love our new car, a different house or the latest TV program, but these ideas convey little or no connection to human capacity for love.
“I do what I love and it energizes me” is one aspect of love and then there is a greater love. This love is not about what you do when you feel like doing it. This greater love is about what you do even when you don’t feel like doing it.
You don’t feel like getting up at night out of a deep sleep, but as soon as you hear a crying child or baby, you are up. Great love is about what you do in spite of what you may feel like doing at that moment. There are short, fleeting feelings and then there are durable deeper feelings. Personal growth is about learning to discern and differentiate one from the other.
The greater love is found not in the transitory, fleeting feelings but in the actions of determination born of devotional, durable and renewable feelings. There is love in commitment, love in service, love of making things better, and love of serving others who are in need. There is love of the human possibility, and the love of what you are called to do and be.
Show me a great endeavor and I’ll show you a person who follows the greater love.
© Aviv Shahar