I had a little discovery this week, one of those “Aha” moments. You may think DUH, everyone knows that, but I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever really thought about it, probably because I never had it as an example from my parents. My “aha” was discovering the distinction between love as a verb and love as a feeling. When I say love as a feeling, I suppose it’s that fall in love phase, where your heart feels like its gushing over with this intense and lovely stuff. You can’t think, work, eat or do anything – it consumes you and let’s face it, there’s nothing quite like it is there? It’s probably why some people are serial monogamists, because it feels so good to feel like that.
The distinction I’ve uncovered is that feeling love and doing love are two very different things. Anyone who’s gone through this “feeling” phase and then onto the next life/love phase – which often lacks the lovely, gushy feelings on a day-to-day basis – knows that it can be a bit confusing. Why don’t I still feel like that? Why don’t I look at my partner and feel love overflowing? It’s probably why so many relationships break down because we expect to feel this way all the time… well at least those cultures influenced by the Hollywood representation of love.
But this isn’t what love is. Love is a verb and because it’s a verb, love is something you actually do. Steve has always understood that love is a verb – he is 100% motivated to serve not just me, but everyone he loves. It’s a very inspiring quality to have in a partner, because it makes you work harder on the relationship too. I suppose I have understood the distinction subconsciously to a certain extent, but until this week, I don’t think I ever consciously committed to the concept of love as service, because I never understood that love IS an act of service. Naturally, when I say service, I do not mean being inferior to my partner or allowing him to dominate me – instead it means honouring each other.
It’s a cool thing to realise, and that’s why I wanted to share it here, so that anyone else who hasn’t consciously thought about this love-as-a-service-stuff may gain-a-leg-up in the world of love, because if we’re all working harder at serving those we love, well we’ve got a greater chance of being happier and there’ll probably be more love going round.
I remember Steve once told me a great story about an old Hollywood legend, although neither of us can remember his name… but we will. Anyway, this legend was celebrating 50 years of marriage and when asked how he had succeeded in such a long and happy marriage, he replied that he lived to serve his wife and making her happy was his highest priority. It didn’t sink in completely when Steve said it, but now it does, it really does. I’m definitely going to work harder at serving all of my loves and I’ll do it with real joy in my heart.
Yours, without the bollocks