Attributes of Love

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Charles Crooks

The subject of love brings about many different realizations of the nature of love.  So often the term love is related solely to the emotional high during a romantic encounter.  Whether that encounter is short lived or not, it is our emotional response that we sometimes mistake for love.

There are two types of love that we will discuss here.  The first is that love that has a string attached.  The second type is that love that does not have a string attached, “the greater love”.  For ease of reference,  we will label the first “Type 1” and the second “Type 2”.  We will also for illustration purposes use a couple of people in our examples.  Their names are John and Carol.  The names and gender are not important as they are used as general examples demonstrating various principles in this work.

Type 1 love appears to have some of the characteristics of a Type 2 love, but what is really happening is that a person is happy so long as one’s expectations are met.  For example, the quote “I love Carol because” from John, suggests that if Carol changes, John will no longer love Carol. This is not true pure love.  Therefore it is not love, but an emotional high based upon John’s expectations of Carol. There is a big string attached to this expression of love and therefore qualifies it as a Type 1 love.

A secondary characteristic of the Type 1 love brings Carol into a dependency role.  That is, if Carol is aware that John will only be in love with her as long as she meets certain requirements then, if Carol wishes to receive this attention from John, then she will have to mold herself to meet these requirements.  Thus, Carol’s actions make her completely dependent upon John.  If Carol were to grow or change in any way, John would no longer love Carol.  For Carol, this is devastating in that Carol now directs her life for John’s preferences.  She becomes a slave to her fear of failure to live up to John’s expectations. 

On the other hand, since John’s love has a string attached to it, then it stands to reason that John would also fall into the trap of dependency. This dependency role for either sets to motion a series of events that will in most cases bring about some sort of disaster concerning the relationship.

There is great stress upon an individual who places one’s whole being, that is, how one sees oneself, in the hands of another who most likely is “not qualified”  to deal with that responsibility.

Some of the side effects of these dependencies can result in severe depression, anger, insecurity,  and a host of other conditions that do not promote a loving environment.

As part of the condition represented above, the apparent high that John or Carol feels when they meet someone who meets the prescribed conditions, sometimes will prevent either from becoming aware of the true nature of that person. In a sense, they are blinded by their desires.

Many stories demonstrate this vividly as one will report that the person of their dreams who meets all the requirements later turned out to be just the opposite. The reason for this could be that using John and Carol as examples, that Carol was initially impressed with John. However, John was presenting himself, not to be who he truly is, but has molded himself to Carol’s requirements. Later, John starts being himself and now no longer meets Carol’s expectations.  This is a devastating condition as grief is sure to follow.

Let us look at the attributes of Type 2 love, “the greater love”. That would be the love that exists without strings attached.  We can say that love in its purity has these basic attributes, compassion, a non-judgmental approach, and support in almost any situation.

The intellectual process naturally develops a blockage to this, as we are raised in a society that does not have a clear understanding of Type 2 love “the greater love”. As a result we are guilt ridden for our failures and anything else we can think of.

Consider a woman who had put her faith in a man, who after a time treats her badly, sometimes to the point of abuse. Because of our training, even though we might have sympathy for the woman, in the back of many people’s minds are the incessant thoughts saying that she should have known better. This is typical of Type 1 behavior: selfish and judgmental.

This type of training causes the victim to feel guilty because she did not foresee these events. Even if her intuition, or even a friend warned her, she still went ahead with the relationship. The logical portion of the mind says that this is the prefect situation and leaves it at that. We are taught to ignore our inner voice and stay with the outer, as it is “logical”. This type of thinking does not serve love, but serves to separate people from their gift of the greater love, and further separate people from each other.

If we examine love, in its purity, we might come to the determination that the source of love is beyond the human entity. Well, some would agree immediately claiming that they are “not qualified” and, therefore, will never know love in its purity. Others may claim that they have all this love, and, therefore, are “blessed”, “Everybody else is not blessed”.  There are more examples, but you get the idea. There are those who have love, yet don’t ever tell anyone except by many of their benevolent activities. These are those that function under Type 2 love “the greater love”.

It seems by the attributes above, that Type 2 love has nothing to do with the emotional love that so many of us experience.  This is not to say that our experiences are lacking. What is important here is to bring about a condition were love supersedes all other attributes and their associated emotions.   

As Type 2 love, “the greater love”, manifests, those attributes accentuate all other realizations possible. It is that which is the manifestation of the greatest expression of the human condition.  It is that love which nurtures all people who are in need: that combination of attributes that will always support growth in an individual. It does not require one to become enslaved by another, just that love itself is sufficient unto itself. Compassion and understanding, the attributes that are in each and every one of us, becomes evident, should we choose to take that path.

After all is said and done, no matter what the outcome, the only attribute left in life is true love. It will be there always waiting quietly, ready to manifests at a moment’s notice.

How often have we heard about one who, through their actions, has mirrored the very same attributes of the greater love that we are talking about? Great works being done by those who take on the task for the “good” work are an inspiration to us all.

It is not that we need to take on a task of such great magnitude that we become world known, but rather to take on the difficult task of treating ourselves with that greater love that is inside each of us. It’s just a matter of putting aside those attributes that do not work well in a loving environment.

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Last modified: 04/09/13