What is Love?

Yesterday, after our celebration, someone approached me about our declarations about loving, being loving, and loving ourselves. “Do people really know what love is?” he asked. “Perhaps you need to define it so they don’t confuse it with warm, fuzzy feelings and valentines.”

I thank this person for this challenge that allows me to think more deeply upon the Principle of our philosophy. How do you define love? I know what I believe it is, but how do I define it? I looked it up in the dictionary to see what it had to say about it: “strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties; attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers…”

Then there was another definition used as a Bible definition. Love, whether used of God or man, is an earnest and anxious desire for and an active and beneficent interest in the well-being of the one loved. 

Well, what I understand of Love through studying the philosophy of New Thought is not any of these definitions. These definitions I looked up are merely effects of Love. Love is the Cause of the experiences of Love, whether they be for our animals, another person or an ideal to which we profess.

In the Science of Mind we define Love as “The self-givingness of the Spirit through the desire of Life to express Itself in terms of creation.” Also, Ralph Waldo Emerson defined Love as a synonym for God. Ernest Holmes further wrote, “Love is a Cosmic Force whose sweep is irresistible.”

But still, do these definitions really explain Love? They attempt to explain something that can only be felt and experienced. I cannot tell you what Love is. It is not just a force, it is the Force of creation; and I believe it is felt when we are able to totally give up, fear and judgement of ourselves and others and just surrender ourselves and our life to something greater than what we can understand in the moment. It is a matter of faith and trust. It is felt when we are able to realize and move in the flow of life no matter what is occurring, knowing that the Force of Love is carrying us through.

Love is the Force that moves through each of us. It seeks expression in wanting to do good for ourselves and others. It seeks expression in acts of kindness, altruism. It seeks expression through many avenues of Good. It is the Force and the best way I can explain it is “The self-givingness of the Spirit through the desire of Life to express Itself in terms of creation.”

Love is who we are. It is not a verb. It is a noun, an identity that must take action. It must find avenues to express itself. I remember Maryanne Williamson once saying that everything was either love or a call for love. Yes, if we are in fear or doing destructive things to ourselves or others, it is a call for love. We just think that the only way we can get it, is by getting attention any way that we understand from our limited thinking.

The answer and definition of Love will come to each of us in our own way, when we realize there is nothing to get from another person or experience. Love just is. It is who we are. We can never escape it or be less than it. We might ignore it, but It is The Spirit within us, our true Identity.

“Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.” Henri Nouwen


Love and Aloha,

Rev. Rita


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s