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What is Love?

Recently, I’ve come to reflect about my personal definition of love when a friend asked  my perspective on it. It was such an abstract concept that people tend to give various definitions to it based on their experiences.

After contemplating on love, I’ve realized this is my personal definition:

Love is experiencing extraordinary moments that accumulated over time, then somehow choosing to love the person no matter what. Love is a choice and committing to that choice over and over again. True love without sacrifice is meaningless.

As humans, it is our nature to think first about ourselves, but if you have chosen to love the other person, sacrificing your own self for what’s best for the other, you have experienced true love.

Even if you think the person does not deserve your love but still choose to love that person over and over again, that’s true love.

Love is not a responsibility but a choice. If it’s a responsibility, then even if you don’t want it, you’ll do it anyway. Like you’re obligated. But if it’s a choice, you are deciding to love the person and accepting the consequences connected with that decision. You are owning your love for that person.

 

Is it applicable to any type of relationship? My above definition is definitely applicable to romantic and familial relationship. But what about spiritual? About love for friends? About love for oneself? About love for one’s country?

 

I think it will all boil down to one’s freedom of will. Humans are given the freedom to choose, the freedom to say yes, to say no, the freedom to believe or not to believe, the freedom to trust, or not to trust. I think it all boils down to that power to choose given to us. But how do we use this power in ways not destructing but encouraging to people? How can we use this freedom to lift others up instead of pushing them down?

 

I think it is all about love. And as with any type of relationship, whether for your family, whether for your friends, whether for your significant other, whether for a higher being that you believe or not, it will always be a choice to love and receive love. A choice we are given to show the true meaning of life on this earth.

 

What about the spiritual definition of love?

I always remember what Paul said to the Corinthian church about love in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 (Contemporary English Version):

 

Love: The Universal Spiritual Gift

 If I speak in tongues of human beings and of angels but I don’t have love, I’m a clanging gong or a clashing cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and I know all the mysteries and everything else, and if I have such complete faith that I can move mountains but I don’t have love, I’m nothing. If I give away everything that I have and hand over my own body to feel good about what I’ve done but I don’t have love, I receive no benefit whatsoever.

Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant, it isn’t rude, it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints, it isn’t happy with injustice, but it is happy with the truth.

Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.

As for prophecies, they will be brought to an end. As for tongues, they will stop. As for knowledge, it will be brought to an end. We know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, what is partial will be brought to an end. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, reason like a child, think like a child. But now that I have become a man, I’ve put an end to childish things. Now we see a reflection in a mirror; then we will see face-to-face. Now I know partially, but then I will know completely in the same way that I have been completely known.

Now faith, hope, and love remain—these three things—and the greatest of these is love.

 

With the above spiritual definition of love, it will always be hard to comprehend and apply such if we are face to face with pain, hurt, anger, sickness, doubt and problems. But I guess love is a universal spiritual gift given to us by the One true creator of love.  If we receive that unconditional love from the creator, I think it will be easier to give love to others. But above all, I think it will always be a choice for us whether to give the love that we receive, or not at all.

 

At the end of the day, I have pictured the love that Jesus has showed me all my life:

Even though I am not patient and want my own way, He is still patient with me and teaches me to put others first.

Even though I am lost with my identity, He has given me a new life. The old has gone, the new has come.

Even though I am a complainer, He is still patient with me, hearing my concerns, loving me and doesn’t keep a record of my wrongs. He has erased my transgressions from east to west.

Even though I didn’t feel loved growing up, He still died on the cross to show how much He loves me. He could have wiped the people from earth, He could have judged me and condemned me but instead, He showed love in its highest form. He showed love through sacrifice. He showed power in love when He chose to love you and me despite our past, our sins, our problems, our ego, our accomplishments, our rejection of Him. He still chose to love.

That for me, is the true definition of love.

Then, I realized,

Love is always a choice. It will always be a choice.

A choice to give love. A choice to receive love.

And in life, we always live with the consequence of that choice.

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I Write Because..

I write because I see.

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I write because I laugh.

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I write for myself.

To express.

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I write because I love.

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I write.

Sometimes. Oftentimes.

For no reason at all.

I just write.

Relationship Rules

“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
— Carl W. Buechner

The past few weeks have been very busy in work, and there’s less time for me to write my thoughts here. However, I still made the conscious effort to read after work so here I am, sharing bits and pieces of what I learned about the book I’ve read.

First off, my reason for reading this book is to obviously understand how romantic relationships work. I thought, maybe I need to learn about this aspect of life before I actually try to dive into it. I think I’m ready for a relationship, but after reading this book, I realize there are lots of things to learn! Haha!!! Plus, most of my girl friends are in a relationship so it’s really hard when they’re going through a tough time and I don’t even know what to say to console them. So here I am, admitting I’m very rusty in my idea of dating and romantic relationships so I’ve scouted books about it.

After scanning Amazon, I’ve bought Relationship Rules by Janice Hoffman for just about $5 (kindle version). It is quite a quick read, with about 12 rules about relationships discussed by the author. It is more like a guidebook for both men and women on how each can wiggle through the world of their romantic relationship. This book includes advice on what to do specifically addressed for men, and then women afterwards.

I’ll be sharing the 12 rules mentioned in the book here, and if you’re quite interested to specifically know more, you can also buy the book. I’m not affiliated in any way with the author, but I guess her guidelines about romantic relationships helped me a lot as I’ve used her book to give insights to a friend who recently went through a breakup. While reading the book, it was also easy for me to pick a verse or two from the Bible that might relate to those rules.

So, without further ado, here’s the 12 Relationship Rules outlined by Janice Hoffman in Creating a Love that Lasts:

  1. Help your partner succeed in making you happy. Leave hints, notes, or wish lists. In this way, a woman can get what she wants without asking directly, and a man can feel successful in making his partner happy.
  2. Listen without interrupting. Refrain from giving unsolicited advice or suggestions. Practice putting yourself in your partner’s shoes.
  3. Help your partner relieve stress. Women relieve stress when they can talk freely about their emotions and feel heard and understood. Men relieve stress by disassociating themselves from their thoughts and feelings.
  4. Appreciate your partner for their efforts, big and small. Men are motivated by being appreciated; women are motivated by acts of caring.
  5. Know how men and women keep score in a relationship. Women grant points for the positive things men do, say, and give. Men give women big points for being let off the hook and for being appreciated.
  6. Every day, pledge to give your partner one loving act, one affectionate gesture, one kind word or compliment. Never miss an opportunity to tell your partner how much you care.
  7. Know when to take a time-out. Make sure you schedule time to talk later. Women especially need to know they won’t be forgotten or blown off.
  8. Set aside time to spend together at least once a week. This is your time to reconnect, not to discuss finances, children, or careers.
  9. Be aware of how you spend your sexual energy. How you behave around the opposite sex will have an effect on how you relate to your partner.
  10. Take responsibility for your own happiness. By doing this you will find more peace and joy in your life.
  11. Actively practice forgiveness, both for your partner and for yourself. We all make mistakes. Forgiveness is the foundation of a strong relationship.
  12. When you love someone, tell them. Never assume they already know.

The rules I’ve shared here are exactly the points of Janice Hoffman in her book, but she also added specific advice for men and women on how these guidelines can be applied in real situations. To be honest, these concepts are eye-opening for me and once I’m in a relationship, I’ll be sure to refer to these rules. 😊

How about you? Do you agree with these rules? Do you have experiences that may relate to one or more of these rules? Hit the comment button below if you do! 😁