I remember my wedding day like it was yesterday. I was very selective when it came to the readings for our ceremony. This one in particular was my favorite. It set a standard, guidelines for how I would practice love. So what is love? This is what it is to me.
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.
There are two things that stand out for me and are the most challenging to practice.
The first is, don’t dishonor others.
I think if we were to apply that to this day and age, it would mean don’t disrespect others because their beliefs are not the same as yours. Don’t insult, demean, devalue or treat anyone like they are beneath you. Don’t do it in conversations or posts on Facebook. Don’t use your words to purposely hurt or devalue another human being. Use your words to lift people up, never to tear them down.
The second is don’t keep track of wrong doings.
What does this mean exactly? Don’t keep score, don’t judge, don’t label, don’t hold a grudge. Don’t point a finger at anyone else, you are not their judge and jury. Your purpose in life is not to expose the flaws of others and then share them with the rest of the word. Your job is to show compassion, tolerance and respect when it comes to fellow human beings. How would you like it if someone dragged you personally through the Internet mud? Leave that for the news crew. Share and spread something positive. If nothing else, it will make you look like a nicer person.
Don’t celebrate love, practice love.
Don’t spread hate and intolerance in the name of love.
Love is not a game. We are not pawns in a game of life knocking each other off the grid so our beliefs can survive. Love is universal, it does not select a chosen few. Love exists or it doesn’t. It’s that simple.
Love is not conditional. If you are only loving toward a percentage of people and not all people, than you don’t really know love. Love doesn’t pick and choose anyone. We as people choose love or we choose not to love.
You cannot experience real love with an angry heart. Angry thoughts and words do not promote love, they take away its value. If you love and support one group, while knocking and mocking and judging another, your actions do not come from a place of love.
Maybe the hardest act for others as a whole, especially when it comes to the Internet is do not boast. Have you seen the posts on Facebook lately? There is a fine line in supporting and boasting. Be mindful.
I ask you to to look in the mirror and ask yourself to get real and honest with yourself. Are you love? Do you practice love? A heart can’t love and judge at the same time. Love is accepting and respecting another person without conditions. Are you really capable of love? Listen to your words. Do they come from a place of love? Do your thoughts come from a place of love. Is your heart at peace or are you using it to fight a battle? Love does not fight. It encourages, sympathizes, empathizes. The heart listens and tries to understand. I ask again, do you really come from a place of love?