LOVE, the Four-Letter Word

It took me decades to understand what LOVE really means…

Most of a lifetime to realize…

… that true love is a verb, not a mere sentiment.

… that the greatest meaning, peace, and happiness is made possible by having someone(s) to care about.

… that my capacity to love is measured by my capacity to suffer with and sometimes to suffer for.

… that love doesn’t always feel pleasant, but always feels right.

… that love is being honest when being honest is an act of courage.

… that I should never take away the power of those I love by doing for them that which they can do for themselves.

… that LOVE is the radical faith and freedom to give without keeping score.

… that LOVE is sometimes the only reason to keep on living after every other hope and happiness has been stripped away from us.

… that sometimes all we can do is cry together, holding onto each other with all the compassion and courage we can muster.

… that LOVE is the radical faith and freedom to care about the whole world, not just about my family, friends, neighbors, and those who share my race, country, and creed.

… that LOVE is the radical faith and freedom to care about those I differ with, dislike, and fear—and even those who, in their ignorance and anger, would do me harm.

… that we are all in the same boat, are all brothers and sisters, are all damaged children in one way or another, and all would benefit if we allowed our hopes, fears, virtues, and foibles to unite us in mutual empathy, mutual affection, and shared purpose.

LOVE—where better to invest my freedom, faith, and profound ignorance—no matter what.

19 thoughts on “LOVE, the Four-Letter Word

  1. Nice, Frank. What Ricky Gervais’s character said in Afterlife has stuck with me:

    “Happiness is amazing. It’s so amazing, it doesn’t matter whether it’s yours or not.”

  2. What a beautiful and insightful definition of LOVE, Frank! To love is by no means easy but, as “damaged children” every one, we keep on trying and failing. Being honest is, indeed, an act of courage for we risk losing a friendship/relationship we may hold close to our heart.

  3. Great sentiment, LB! I Cor 13, makes it abundantly clear that true love is action not just a feeling.

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