The Meaning of True Love

9:16 AM

People these days tend to be very self-absorbed. How will this affect me? Would I benefit from this? What makes me happy?

While one is single, this might not be much of a problem. Although this character weakness will affect one's life to a degree (e.g., the quality of friendships, their relationship with coworkers, their desire to be of service), when it comes to a committed marriage, selfishness is the enemy that can destroy even the finest built foundations.

Selfishness is the opposite of love. This is the most important thing I have learnt from my marriage thus far. True love is selfless. Let me say that again.

True love is selfless.

True love means putting the other person first. It means scooping that last bit of leftover ice cream in to a bowl for them, sacrificing your share, and not letting them know. It is humility. It does not need to boast.

It is keeping one's mouth shut when he folds the laundry the "wrong way". Love is patient.

It means massaging lotion in to his calloused feet, after he has spent a long day working in boots. Love is kind.

It is waking up to make them breakfast, even though the darkness tells you it is not time to wake. True love is service.


True love is magical. But it is not some blissful, worry-free fairy-tale in which love flows forth on its own.

Hollywood has been spreading the misconceived notion that love just happens. That we fall in love with somebody and that is the end. True love is meeting "the one," and if the one has serious character flaws, it only serves to make your story more romantic and it is your job to "fix them."

This viewpoint has major holes. While it would be just peachy if we were able to glance across a room, lock eyes with a person, and be in bliss from that moment on, that is not how love works. And if one chooses to keep the wool over their eyes during the beginning, it will eventually be shredded and they could be left with a very shaky circumstance.

Do not get me wrong, I have heard stories of people meeting their future spouse in a similar fashion, getting married two weeks later, and ending up quite happily married. But that is luck. It is not the norm, nor should it be the sought after. It does, I acknowledge, make a cute story. But had those couples met in different circumstances, I believe they would be just as happy.

Love can take time. It did in my case. My husband and I were friends for years before we started dating. There was no big "aha, he is the one" moment or romantic story of how we met. But that is not what is important. A story is just a way of impressing people and yourself. Some people need that, a "sign" of oh this must be the one. I admit, I was looking for some sign. Does not everyone wish to know if someone is right for them?

It took me a few years to figure out that Spencer was right for me. And it did not come in the form of a flash of light or other dramatic fashion. It took time. Time to see how we worked together in all varieties of circumstance. How we resolved conflict. What our beliefs were. How we wanted to discipline our children.

I eventually came to my own conclusion that there might not be "the one." That maybe, we just have to decide for ourselves and take (an informed) leap of faith. Yes, this was a revelation that was a bit disheartening. If there was "the one," would life not be so much easier? If there was "the one" for everyone, would it not be that much easier to love them? And yet, this revelation was also freeing. I felt the freedom to choose for myself. I was no longer held accountable to find that one specific person. For how could I ever know who that person was with such surety as to commit the rest of my life?

I believe there is more to love than just a feeling. Love is not easy. It takes work to love someone truly. What one need do is find somebody that one would be willing to go through all the trials and joys of life with, and then commit to loving them. In sickness and in health, in good times and in hard.

This, my friends, is the miracle of marriage. The constant growth with a partner whom one has chosen. The growth I have since experienced from being married has been more than I could have expected. It is about the journey, my friends. This is a journey to become selfless. And in turn, become one, become whole. By giving oneself, you gain so much more in return. Let the ego go, and make room for growth. This is quite easy to say, but the practice and mastery will take well over a lifetime.



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2 comments

  1. Love you! I think you are awesome and I enjoy reading about your realizations and discoveries. I am so happy you found someone so awesome to share your life with. He really is a great guy and cares so much about you.

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  2. Very well said...you made your mother-in-love cry! Your posts are awesome--keep 'em coming!

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