Love is _______.
How would you finish this statement?
It is something that seems to be all around us; from the love stories we see in movies, the love songs we hear on Spotify, to every “hashtag love” that we scroll through on social media.
It is something that society needs; to be valued, to be accepted, and to be in relationship with people who care for one another.
But what is love? It can be so difficult to define what love really is, and what love actually looks like.
In this this topic we will be taking a look at just that - what love really means when expressed towards others; our girlfriend, boyfriend, or in our relationships with our friends and family.
HAVE YOU EVER THOUGH ABOUT WHAT LOVE REALLY IS? IF YOU WERE TO LOOK UP #LOVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA, YOU WOULD SEE MILLIONS OF
POSTS AND PEOPLE THAT HAVE USED THIS HASHTAG; #LOVESHOES, #LOVEMYDOG, #LOVEFOOD.
IT COULD BE ONE OF THE MOST OVER-USED WORDS ON SOCIAL MEDIA, AND MAYBE BECAUSE WE USE THE WORD SO MUCH WE HAVE ACTUALLY FORGOTTEN WHAT LOVE IS AND WHAT LOVE LOOKS LIKE.
THERE ARE SO MANY APPS OUT THERE TODAY THAT ALLOW US TO CONNECT WITH A GUY OR A GIRL AND ARRANGE A DATE BEFORE WE HAVE EVEN MET. THE PROBLEM WITH AN APP IS THAT WE ONLY EVER GET TO KNOW THE PERSON FOR WHO THEY PORTRAY THEMSELVES TO BE ONLINE. WE MIGHT FEEL LIKE WE ARE THE PERFECT MATCH; WE LOVE THE WAY THEY LOOK, WE HAVE SIMILAR INTERESTS, WE HAVE GREAT ONLINE CONVERSATIONS, BUT WHEN IT COMES TO MEETING THEM IN REAL LIFE, THE CONNECTION MIGHT BE SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT.
TO LOVE MEANS TO VALUE. SWIPING LEFT OR RIGHT ON A MOBILE APP TO DECIDE WHO WE LIKE AND WHO WE DON’T LIKE PLACES VERY LITTLE VALUE ON THE PERSON.
MAKE A DECISION TO PLACE A HIGH VALUE ON PEOPLE, ALL OF THEM. WHAT IF WHEREVER YOU GO, WHOEVER YOU COME IN TO CONTACT WITH, YOU WERE TO ENVISION THE 'NUMBER 10' ABOVE THEIR HEAD. THIS NUMBER SYMBOLISES THEIR VALUE, 10/10, THEY COULD NOT BE MORE VALUABLE, SO TREAT THEM THAT WAY.
SOME PEOPLE MAY BE HARDER TO LOVE THAN OTHERS, BUT REGARDLESS OF THEIR IMPERFECTIONS AND FAULTS, CHOOSE TO LOVE. WHAT IF YOU COULD BE KNOWN BY LOVE; IF THERE IS A NEW KID IN SCHOOL, TEACHERS KNOW THAT YOU ARE THE BEST PERSON FOR THEM TO HANG OUT WITH. IF ONE OF YOUR FRIENDS NEEDS SOME ENCOURAGEMENT, YOU ARE THE FIRST PERSON THEY TURN TO.
ONE OF THE BEST WAYS WE CAN SHOW LOVE IN ACTION IS BY THINKING, IN EVERY INTERACTION AND EVERY CONVERSATION, “HOW WOULD I LIKE TO BE TREATED”, AND TREAT OTHERS THAT WAY.
1 // WHAT DO YOU LOVE?
2 // HAVE YOU EVER LOOKED FOR LOVE ONLINE?
3 // HOW CAN WE PLACE VALUE ON ALL PEOPLE?
There is this saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, but if it is broke, let’s do our best to fix it! When it comes to our relationships, we may not realise it but the reason we don’t like speaking to someone at school, or the reason we feel anger towards a member of our family, is because at some point something has happened that has broken that relationship, and the only way to move on and fix it is through forgiveness.
We are meant to be in relationship with others. As human beings we need to be in community with one another and have people that we can talk to, laugh with, and do life with.
But what can so often damage relationships with the people in our lives is an inability to forgive. Whatever someone may have done to you or to someone you care about, if you can learn to forgive them it can restore broken relationships and change the way you live.
THE WEIGHT OF UNFORGIVENESS
Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. If we are unable to forgive, we sabotage our future because we are chaining everything to the past, and the only person we are destroying is ourselves. In order to move on we have to choose to forgive.
If we are unable to forgive then we will live our life carrying around this unnecessary emotional baggage, and this will effect the way we interact with people on a daily basis.
THE FREEDOM OF FORGIVENESS
Ever felt like you just don’t have many people in your life who care? You can start to feel disconnected and in need of love from someone, anyone.
"People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care." - john maxwell
But what cures this disconnection is not being loved, but our ability tolove. Don’t spend your time finding ways for everyone to love you, but simply start by expressing love towards others - helping them, encouraging them, forgiving them - and then you will start to feel connected and develop lasting relationships.
 // HAVE YOU EVER EXPERIENCED A BROKEN RELATIONSHIP?
 // WHY SHOULD WE FORGIVE?
 // HOW CAN WE BE MORE PROACTIVE IN BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS?
There was a man called rudolph valentino, who was know as “the greatlover” and the reason he was given this name was because of how many women he loved.
But when it comes to love, maybe he wasn’t that great. see, when you go from person to person, you will never grow in your relationships. With every problem that comes your way, rather than facing it and trying to work it out, you will just give up and move on to the next person and eventually experience the same problem.
You have just gone one mile a thousand times, but what you are truly looking for is one person you can travel a thousand miles with.
What if love is less about how many people we “love”, and more about how we demonstrate our love to the people in our lives.
IT'S A DATE
You might be dating someone right now, but have you ever taken the time to ask yourself why you are in this relationship in the first place? Is it so that you have a date to take to the prom? Is it so you can go on cute little day trips over the weekend? Is it because it feels good?
Real love consists of things like commitment, and patience, and kindness, none of which sound too exciting, but are so vital to a healthy relationship.
Following our feelings can lead to disaster, so it is key that you know why you are in a relationship - choose to be intentional and bring out the best in each other.
Some of you won’t be in a relationship; maybe that's cool with you, or maybe you are desperate to have that special someone in your life.
There is no greater desperation than a person who is disconnected from other human beings, but this is the reason that we have community, that we have friends. Don’t allow your feeling of desperation to cause you to take whoever comes your way.
If you are not in a relationship, rather than searching for the right person, start with being the right person. Become the person you are looking for is looking for.
 // WHY DO WE DATE?
 // WHAT DOES A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP CONSIST OF?
 // HOW CAN YOU BECOME THE PERSON YOU’RE LOOKING FOR IS LOOKING FOR?