But what exactly is this thing called love all about?
You’re not in love when you have butterflies in your stomach. Fun Fact: that happens when you’re nervous or anxious; it’s your flight or fight response. The stomach muscles become super sensitive when this happens, which makes the butterflies appear. Remember that feeling when you were about to make that speech? It was the same feeling when you were about to ask your crush out to prom. You got stressed out and your brain made your stomach stressed out, which caused the butterflies to soar on your insides.
Love is most certainly not infatuation. Fun Fact Two: its origin is the Latin word infatuatus*, which means foolish. If you’ve been infatuated before and now you have seen the light, you’ll agree with me that you have indeed been foolish.
Love isn’t limited to romantic relationships. It covers ALL our relationships.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.*
Love is patient. You love your parents no doubt about that; even until they’ve grown old and could no longer remember your name, you still love them. But are you patient with them? Are you patient when your Mom walks slow, are you patient when your Dad forgets his Skype password for the nth time? Best way to show love is by showing them that you’re patient with them. But what about the difficult ones? Yes, we live in an imperfect world – the person at the train stepped on your white shoes, your colleague pissed you off, the cashier gave you an attitude, what do you do? You show them you’re patient, you show them love.
Love does not envy. My wife got promoted, my sister got a scholarship, my neighbor went to Europe. Are we genuinely happy when other people receive blessings?
Love does not boast, it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful.
It’s not always about you! When was the last time you listened to your friend? You’re so preoccupied with your great stories that you’re not even aware that she’s dying inside. When was the last time you said the magic words “please” and “thank you” when your brother does simple errands for you? When was the last time when you were discreet with your words? Do you always go back to year 1900 and remind your spouse when your first Valentine was forgotten? When you love someone you don’t keep score of who loved the most, who made the least mistake, and who remembered the most number of special events in your lives – love does not keep record of wrongs.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. In another version it says – love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
You’re now probably thinking, “Oh now she says the part about love being blind.” Actually it’s not, when we love someone we bear their troubles together. I mean this life ain’t smooth sailing and storm-free. We’ll have moments when we’re thriving and moments as if we’re in a dry, parched land. And we need friends who love us genuinely that they’re willing to stand with us during these times. Believes all things – yes all things, the good ones and the bad ones. Seeing the bad ones doesn’t mean that we would presume the worst and expect them to fail, but we look beyond the failures – when we believe for great things we are also full of hope of the great things that are about to be manifested. And endures all things – real love never gives up, it just won’t quit.
To be honest, I don’t think I needed to explain that whole verse. It’s not rocket science and you don’t need a PhD to decipher it. But it’s great to be reminded, and have ourselves checked.
Are you willing to give love, be love, and receive love? Are you ready to give selfless love? Are you ready to genuinely love?
* Infatuatus – got the meaning from Merriam-Webster
* Holy Bible, New Testament, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, English Standard Version