Valentine’s Day Observations and Opinions on Love

Happy Valentine's Day

Love is less about our hearts – our emotions, our affections – which, given our individual inward temperaments, the outward circumstances we encounter, and our reactions to them, always rise and fall, ebb and flow, wax and wane.

If we desire to be in relationship with another and determine to build a relationship with another (aye, also with ourselves) based on how we feel about another (and ourselves), then this is an effort destined for our experience of the frustrations that attend impermanence.

Succinctly put, on good days, our love that emanates from our feelings encourages us to give and, on bad days, to withhold. Thus, whether consciously or unconsciously, we make our loving an act of our perception of another’s (and our own) deserving.

Even more, as a paradox of perpetual impermanence, that is, an ongoing cycle of relational oscillation, on good days, we, intuitively, may come to believe that “the good won’t…can’t last,” and, after enough proofs that this is true, on bad days, we, reflexively, may learn to fear that “the bad might…could last.”

Love is more, love is all about our will, our human capacity to choose to exercise (and I canst not, I darest not try to improve on the Apostle Paul’s description of the qualities, the characteristics of love, that is, what love does and what love doesn’t do) our Holy Spirit-given power to be patient, kind, not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude, never insisting on our own way, never irritable or resentful, never rejoicing in wrongdoing, always rejoicing in the truth, always bearing, believing, hoping, enduring all things.(1)

Of course, our human employ of our wills goes, cuts both ways. We can choose to love and we can choose not to love (which is an amazing idea that love and loving are less about our being overcome, overwhelmed by our feelings for another and more, all about our benevolent choosing to love another and ourselves).

And, given Paul’s portrayal of what love looks like when love loves, we always can assess whether we have chosen to love or not to love.

Love ain’t blind. For, again, in the words of Paul, in order, in our relationships with others and ourselves, to bear, believe, hope, and endure all things, love (that is, love rooted in our wills, our power to choose) always sees all – the good and the bad, the right and the wrong, the beautiful and the ugly – about others and ourselves and always seeks the benevolent path, that is, to be patient, kind…

(1) 1 Corinthians 13.4-7 (my paraphrase)

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