not loveLove is NOT needing someone nor is it lusting after them; these are two very common forms of counterfeit love. Neither is love excusing someone’s continuing misbehavior or going easy on someone, “forgiving” them on-going violations of appropriate standards or allowing
yourself to be treated disrespectfully. Can we say co-dependency? Enabling behavior?

We tend to think of love as an emotion but true love requires us to ACT loving even in the moments when we do not feel loving. In the flash of anger, in the heat of the moment, we all know that can do great damage to things we hold dear. The
wise heart pauses, centers itself and then acts with the calming insight that our “future self” will have to live with the long-term consequences created by the destruction of any short term emotional storms.

You can not fully, truly, healthily love another until you love yourself. How can you give what you do not have? Truth be said, real love requires work, discipline, and effort. All else is fools’ gold and as the poet said, all that glistens is not gold.

Attraction, infatuation and admiration are all pleasant feelings that often pose as love, indeed can be the first stirrings of love, but never allow these lesser feelings to be mistaken for the genuine thing.  Life frequently gives you what you are willing
to settle for i.e. people sense your unconscious self appraisal and reflect it back to you. Love yourself, believe in you and your tremendous potential, hold yourself and others to high standards, hold out for authentic love, never settle for the knock off!

Closing quotes:

“Love is the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s growth… Love is an act of will — namely, both an intention and an action.” — Scott Peck; 1936–2005, The Road Less Traveled, (598+ weeks on The New York Times Bestseller List)

“People use the word “love” a lot of different ways. What am I saying when I say I love pizza? Am I saying that I care deeply about pizza? Am I saying that I have a relationship with pizza? Am I saying that if pizza had a problem, I would be there for the pizza? Of course not. When I say I love pizza, I’m just saying that I enjoy eating pizza until I don’t want any more pizza. Once I’m tired of the pizza, I don’t care what happens to the rest of it. I’ll throw it away. It doesn’t matter to me anymore. Next time someone looks deeply into your eyes and says ‘I love you’, look very deeply right back and say, ‘Would that be pizza love, or the real thing?”   — Mary Beth Bonacci, Real Love: Answers to Your Questions on Dating, Marriage and the Real Meaning of Sex