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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

What is Love?

Feb 01, 2024 06:00AM ● By Reader Contributors
For our February issue, we asked readers to tell us how they would define love. Here’s what many shared with us, lightly edited.

Love is the most common and sought-after feeling in the world. People are either running toward love or the opposite, and it is the best feeling in the world when it finds you. When someone loves you, you are confident they will be there for you no matter what comes your way. No matter what, your love will prevail. 

The love from a parent looking into their baby’s eyes for the first time, a spouse waking up with a kink in their neck from sleeping in an uncomfortable chair next to you in the hospital, and that faithful pet sitting with you in front of the fireplace—that is love defined. Love embodies care, trust and, at times, not having to say a word because a look is all that is needed. Telling our loved ones how much we care and not taking those we love for granted is so important. 

Tomorrow is not promised to any one of us, and love is far too important not to be shared. 

I have always said it just takes one person; everyone needs at least one individual to love them. If we spread more love and touch more hearts, just think about what it would do for a world that is starving for more. I’m blessed to have a lot of love in my life, and for that, I am forever grateful. 

~~ Camie Vincent

Love is caring for others
Love is sharing resources and not expecting anything in return
Love is taking care of yourself
Love is an action word
Love is holding a newborn baby
Love is helping someone in need
Love is fighting for what’s right
Love is smelling a blooming flower
Love is watching your plants grow from day to day
Love is making sure no one is hungry in your home
Love is checking on those in pain
Love is meditation
Love is intimacy
Love is feeling love
Love is keeping in touch with family members far away
Love is picking up trash off the ground
Love is praying for the abundance around you
Love is knowing how to listen without judgment
Love is going without so others can have
Love is forgiving those who have hurt you
Love is apologizing for something you did wrong

~~ Nobantu Ankoanda

Love is a light in the darkness, a smile when there are tears, an embrace when you feel defeated. Love is an ear when you don’t feel heard. It is compromise and selflessness. It is tender and painfully honest. It is a warm welcome and a difficult goodbye. 

~~ Sally Tansky

Love is practicing servitude in everything  you do to make others feel worthy, needed and ecstatic to be alive. The feeling of sharing love with others is returned, full circle, to the giver. The more you give love, the more you receive love. 

~~ RiChawn, reiki practitioner

Love is the fabric of all that is. When you sit quietly with a still mind, the feeling is love. The dictionary says that hate is the opposite of love, but I don’t believe that love has an opposite. Love tenderly wraps itself around all negativity, all hurt and all dysfunction. It nudges us to be centered in our hearts where all the silly arguments and “I am rights” don’t matter. It unites us with ourselves and with each other. 

Love has no fear. Love is patient and kind. When our pendulum swings us into our negative stories of the past and we act in hurtful ways, love doesn’t judge. Love guides us back home. Love expands us and helps us be who we want to be and who we innately are. It reminds us where we came from and where we are going.

~~ Fredrika Mele Stillwater Scruggs, healing arts practitioner

There are three ways in which humanity has learned to love, based on Greek philosophy. These are philia, the love easily shared with others, eros, or erotic love, and agape, or Divine love. It’s dividing up love, done by the ego, that alters the genuine nature of love. Love is the absolute reality of our souls. It’s the makeup of our spirit, connected to the Divine—which is pure love. We’re to love all humanity equally, as our soul implies universal love.

Spiritual awakening is an awakening to authentic love. You can live completely and die well because of the love you give and the love you receive from others. Love is the ultimate spiritual currency and the only one that matters because we all want to love and be loved.

True love wants the best for the other person, and since love is not selfish, if that person is better without us, we’re willing to leave. Love is a connection, not an attachment. True love may come about due to need, but need and attachment don’t sustain love.

~~Terri Kozlowski, life coach, author

What is love? It is a process. It requires constant nurturing to achieve success and satisfaction. It is a desire, an emotion, and it comes from the origin of the word “evolution.” 
Many people tell others they love one another, not knowing what they are really saying. And so, before you know it, the desired relationship is dead.

Love requires time, energy, understanding, communication, consent, honesty and many other factors since it is an ongoing process similar to evolution. In order for love to blossom and thrive, there must be respect, the precursor to love. It is caring for someone despite their differences.

If a few more people were to start practicing respect, can you imagine what our world would be like? That would really be a successful evolution!

Let’s practice greeting and saying to each other, “I respect you.” Then, let’s sit back and see the positive changes that occur in our world.

~~ Joan Crichlow

Love starts with a healthy love of self—then our planet and all the other sentient beings we share it with. The ability to love and express love defines the human experience. 

There are so many pathways our love takes that have an impact. For example, to love your family is the inborn survival instinct of love. Romantic love gives you the freedom and opportunity to express sexuality and the social philosophy of social relationships. There is also the love of country and economic status. These forms are rarely considered romantic, but they show the attraction and attachment needed to define the feeling they bring to the individual or group. 

To me, the most enduring and engaging relationship is with planet Earth. How to nurture, sustain and regenerate her resources has to be the greatest love for all humanity to show and give. 

~~ Peace Warden, health coach, herbalist, soap maker

Love is when two people are energetically connected and have no expectations of what it looks like. Expectations are fantasy, and love that is based on fantasy doesn’t last. This isn’t limited to a sexual relationship. 

Both parties take responsibility for their words and actions, knowing that no one is going anywhere and that they will work through anything together—no matter how difficult. Their love is a priority above anything else. Nothing else is more important. They can tell each other anything and not fear repercussions or judgments. There’s an understanding and acceptance of each other’s core values and beliefs.

There’s a caring and giving on both sides with no need to receive back because they love themselves enough on a deeper, non-selfish level. No one can take responsibility for another; we have to love ourselves like no other can. Therefore, we can’t love anyone else more than we love ourselves.

~~ Diana Cohen
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