“Love is a many splendored thing.” ~ 1955 movie and title song
I feel so incredibly grateful to be blessed with a romantic, introspective, artistic and spiritual nature, which in combination has given me a profound appreciation of literally the most amazing of all phenomena: love.
Paradoxically, love is instilled in everything, yet it defies definition. Theologians, mystics, psychologists, poets, musicians, etc. have attempted to portray it, but love, being the essence of the Divine, remains too vast for any attempted explanation or depiction to do it justice. However, every person has the existential opportunity to experience and develop love within the framework of his/her unique set of life circumstances.
Of course, love takes numerous forms. I’ll list some, with comments or examples:
- Self-love: the foundation, but not in the grandiose, egotistical sense
- Romantic: a common initial association with the term “love,” right along with the forthcoming Hallmark holiday of Valentine’s Day
- Caring for people and animals: especially family, friends and pets
- Service, particularly when selfless
- Tough love: dispassionate limits, boundaries and disciplinary measures
- Spiritual: quest to connect deeply with the Source and Sustainer of life
- Beauty of nature: sunsets, beaches, mountains, flowers, birds, etc.
- Artistic beauty: drawing/painting, music, dance, literature, etc.
- Earthly desires: money, material possessions, fame, etc.
- Achievement, adventure and major challenges in any area
- Hobbies and interests that one is passionate about pursuing
Love, is de facto—by its very nature—limitless, so an exhaustive list of qualities associated with it is impossible to compile. Several attributes that reflect love are: caring, gratitude, appreciation, compassion/empathy, kindness, patience, forgiveness, humility, generosity and humor.
As G-d is infinite, each of us can continually choose to expand and extend his/her ability to both give and receive love, in its innumerable, exquisite forms. My belief is that the most noble and meaningful life purposes are those that are generated by a deep sense of love. We all have the enormous privilege of “polishing our diamonds.”
What aspects of love are you willing to devote yourself to enhancing?
I love the multi-faceted glory of love. “Don’t leave home without it!”