My thoughts on love. This will likely be updated as I feel I have new insights, as this is always evolving.
I was reminded after reading a recent tweet by my friends at Creative Mornings Vancouver, stating that love can cause you "the most horrific, terrible pain", and I'm sure we've all felt devastated after losing a loved one, however it is my opinion, this is not love.
Love is the thing that can cause you the most horrific, terrible pain
Feelings like loss, hurt, rejection, jealousy, fear, are all other emotions, but they are not love. Love is only giving. Love is abundant. I responded stating Love causes no pain, it's only giving. Pain is other things, like jealousy, fear etc. It's a great perspective to have, I feel.
I find the more you think about this, you realize you love someone by giving, and in fact it's even better if you can give love through actions without expectations. I will suggest all of the hurt, suffering, and pain you feel stems from expectations, and they are not from love, which is only giving.
If this is true, when you tell someone you love them, you should not need the same words reciprocated. You can provide love actions to someone even if they don't love you back. Someone may tell you they need time alone, or demand you leave them alone, and if you really love them, you can give them love by respecting their wishes.
I'm still thinking about exceptions to giving love everywhere, and the only condition I've thought of where you should not give love to someone else, is when it interferes with your ability to love yourself. The first and most obvious case to me is an abusive situation. If you're ever the victim of abuse, you need instead to prioritize on loving yourself. If someone is putting your life, or theirs on the line, you need to prioritize on yourself. I'm sure there are cases when unrequited romantic love can reach a time where you need to move on, in order to love yourself. Other than that, if you're loving yourself fully, you can give love, through actions, in an abundant supply.
If you choose to give love through actions in this way, you will likely be tested, and if you are, you will grow. Through my growth, I am learning that those that challenge you the most, likely need love actions the most. I feel a lasting romantic love based relationship is when your priority remains to give, without expectations, and your partner lives the same way. It's not through expectations, but an intention and/or agreement for continued growth, that allows for sustainable love.
I have more thoughts on love in other contexts, especially a deeper dive into romantic relationships which also require equal parts passion and commitment, and I plan to write on those in the future if there is interest.
I'd love any insights on love I missed or have incorrect! Thanks for taking the time to read.