With February being the month of love I would like to express some loving thoughts that come from my heart. Being a “romantic type” the idea of love has always held a magical place in my life starting from the time I was very young.

Reading fairy tales that had a prince rescuing the lovely maiden, whisking her off and the two of them living happily ever after was how I wanted love to be for me. In my early relationships that was what I thought I was searching for. I was caught up in the feeling of love, not having a true understanding of what makes a love a true love.

True love is not about a feeling…it is about commitment. Commitment to yourself and to those you love. Love has been studied extensively and has been conveniently broken down into four categories.

“Agape Love” is unconditional love. The Thayer Lexicon description of agape says “to take pleasure in the thing, prize it above all other things, be unwilling to abandon it or do without it.” It is a mature sacrificial love easily recognized by example as one parents possess for their children. Loving someone as they are, perfectly imperfect.

“Philia” is an affectionate and warm relationship, a friendship. This love stems from personal inclinations, shared interest and ideas. It is sometimes referred to as brotherly love.

“Storge” is family and community love. It is a love that displays a physical and demonstrative show of affection.

is a physical romantic love. It is a state of the heart that leads to deep intimacy in a relationship.

The best and most complete descriptions I know of love states, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” This passage can be found in the Bible. I Corinthians 13: 4-7.

Imagine what our love life would be if we consciously showed love as it should be, deliberate and purposeful. The richness of our relationships would be so great with our friends, families and soul mates. Love always leads to love.

In my quest to have loving relationships on every level I recognize that I must be committed to the intention of that from myself. I also reap the reward of having so much more love to give. In love, the more love you give, the more love you have to give. The love well never runs dry.

The hiccups will be the fact that everyone is not open to receive love easily or comfortably. Although each baby is born with the natural ability to love and be loved, when acts that are not loving are the examples modeled in life one can become jaded in love. Some become afraid to love.

The thought of loving and not being loved back can indeed be scary. The best one can do is use discernment and decide if you are being treated in a loving manner. Every person must pay attention to how another person treats you. Are they kind, are they patient, do they encourage you, are they truthful to you?

Love is a spiritual personal emotion and sometimes the spirits may not connect but our loving nature should always be present. When it is, you will be able to see the seeds of love that have been planted blossom into a beautiful thing. Spring is right around the corner.

Always, Regina Gale

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