indifference1.jpgThe opposite of love is not hate but indifference. Of no importance, concern, or interest. Not caring, not willing to make an effort.

Love is a word that perhaps is tossed around a bit too often. Love is not obsession, or neediness, or physical lust, or loneliness. Yet we often use the word love to include these emotions.

In “The Road Less Traveled,” Scott Peck defines love as “the willingness to extend oneself to help someone grow.” That definition includes the willingness to do the internal work necessary for personal growth. How can we fully love others unless we first learn to love ourselves?

“Words without deeds are dead” is a poetic phrase that says we must walk our talk for our words to have any meaning.

I believe that true love is a verb, an active emotion, a willingness to take positive action to remedy a situation, to do the personal internal work to make a relationship function in a healthy way. To calm one’s fears and communicate honestly and fully, to find the courage to stay open and engaged even when you want to play it safe or run and hide. To make the effort to learn how to communicate and relate effectively, to do your best to have an extra-large toolbox full of effective relationship skills.

Learn relationship skills from good books, from classes, from wise mentors, from CDs in your car, from counseling, from journaling. Pick your method(s), but learn and never stop.