What is Love? And HOW do you Love?
Is Love something you give only when there is something in it for you? Something to get back in return? For a job-well done? For a reciprocal thought? Is Love something you give to only "yes" people who tell you what you want to hear - to build and sustain your ego?
Or do you Love simply to Love, unconditionally? To give unconditionally? to be kind, unconditionally?
Anyone can be nice to someone, and call it Love - when they are seeking something in return. Anyone can pretend to be nice and kind to a business client or a potential business client - in order to seal the deal.
Of course I'm reminded of the TV character "Larry Tate," portrayed by the brilliant actor David White in my favorite classic situation comedy, "Bewitched."
"Larry" was the ultimate manipulator. As the head of "McMann & Tate" advertising, the client was always right - even at the expense of his friends, employees or his own integrity. In fact, he would fire "Darrin" (as played by either Dick York or Dick Sargent) "on the spot" if he felt it was a threat to any business deal. Or he would reward Darrin with a hearty, "You son of a gun" response if he felt Darrin was doing a wonderful job.
Certainly, in the business world, the "reward/punishment" system, or at least a scaled-down moderate version of it, works.
But with interpersonal relationships - and when it comes to Love across the board?
Uhm...not so much.
We cannot only Love people when there is something in it for us...or only when they are nice to us...or only when they do the things we ask...or act the way we would like them to act...or behave, say, think or do in the way, which is in agreement with our personality or mindset.
Instead, we must Love people no matter what. And forgiveness plays into this scenario, intrinsically. We must forgive those who hurt us. We must forgive those who hate us. We must Love them.
And we must not punish them when they treat us indifferently, or "fire" them or "cancel" their friendship - just as much as we should not only Love them or reward them with our Love when they treat us well. What if everyone envisioned each other as "potential business clients" - with multi-million dollar deals to be made if we won these "clients" over? Everyone would probably and very easily Love one another then, would we not? But again, for all the unhealthiest of reasons.
And this way of thinking also applies to how we treat ourselves. We must Love ourselves, no matter what. We must forgive ourselves, no matter what. We must not reward or punish ourselves for doing "good" or "bad" - but we must Love ourselves, unconditionally.
Now then, if indeed "Love IS God," and "Love is never jealous," then how could there ever have been a "jealous God"? And how could we ever justify allegedly loving someone, and then only doing so when they Love us in return, or if there is only some other "reward" for us in return?
Love is Love, my friends. You either Love someone or you don't. You either Love, unconditionally, or you don't. For it is impossible to Love with conditions, because with Love - there are no inbetweens.
Yet at the same time, nothing is black and white in this world.
If anything, the color of Love is gray...the brightest, most beautiful and understanding gray you will ever lay your eyes and heart upon - and WHO will ever lay their eyes or heart upon you.