July 11     

Today's quotation:

Pure love has no conditions or boundaries.  Love does not restrain itself or hold back.  Love gives all the time and doesn't ask for anything in return.  Love is a continuous flow without any limits.  And all of this is inside you.

Rhonda Byrne

Today's Meditation:

Rachel Remen says that there's really no such thing as unconditional love-- that love by its very nature is unconditional, and if there are conditions involved, it's not love at all, but something else.  I've come to agree with her.  We spend a lot of time trying to categorize love-- romantic love, brotherly love, platonic love-- but the truth is simply that love is love, and we can have the same love for our neighbor that we have for our spouse and children and parents, because love is love, and we should love all people equally and without condition.

I love my wife, but I love the children that I teach just as much.  The relationship that I have is of course very different than the relationships I have with children, but the love is the same.  My wife and I share many things that I share with no one else, but I also share things with my students that I don't share with my wife-- I don't ever give her homework, for example.  But all that I do in all of my relationships is to give all I can to help the other to grow and learn in her or his own ways, to become themselves.

If I love you, all that matters to me is your well-being.  It's not up to me to mold you or shape you, just to do what I can to help you to be well.  I need to support and encourage my students, of course, but I also need to challenge them and set limits for them.  If I love them, I try to figure out their needs and do what I can to meet them in the context of my relationship with them.  When we define love narrowly, though, we also limit the good that we're able to do for those we love.

Love isn't something that just "happens" to us.  We have moments of great attraction, but that's not what love is.  Love is something that we do-- something that we work at, that we practice, that we make efforts to achieve.  And the more we love, the easier it becomes.  And the more the other people in our lives feel the benefit of our love.

Questions to consider:

Whom do you love?  Why?

How would you define love?  Does the love you share match your definition?

How much of what we do in the name of love is really meant to try to get some sort of return?

For further thought:

Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get--only what you are expecting to give-- which is everything.  What you will receive in return varies.  But it really has no connection with what you give.  You give because you love and cannot help giving.  If you are very lucky, you may be loved back.  That is delicious, but it does not necessarily happen.

Katharine Hepburn

more on love



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