Some people throw the word ‘love’ around to describe how they feel about everything. Some people will say that they love the new book that they read or that they love the new pair of shoes they bought, but is love really the appropriate word in these situations? Love is not something that describes an interest in something; it is much deeper than that. So, really, what does love stand for?
Love stands for acceptance. When you really love someone you accept them for everything that they are, without trying to change them. When you attempt to make someone different than they are, that is called rejection. Rejection does not provoke feelings of love in your or in them, instead it provokes more negative feelings like anger and hate.
Also, when it comes to acceptance and love, you don’t truly love someone because of one trait or quality that they possess and then stop loving them if they lose it. No, you love them for the traits, personality, qualities, and quirks that make them who they are now and who they will be in the future. And as time goes on, you allow them to change, and you accept the person that they decide to become.
Love stands for sacrifice. Love for others means putting yourself second sometimes. Doing something for someone else that makes them happy or makes their life richer, in spite of your own loss, is an act of sacrifice that stems from love. This is why the romantic movie, in which the man sacrifices his happiness for his true loves happiness, touches us so deeply. It is an act of true love to give up something for someone else.
Of course, there is the all-important self-love as well. This means putting yourself first sometimes and sacrificing others happiness. This kind of love means looking into your inner-self and doing what’s right for you. It involves making some selfish decisions that benefit you and your future by saying the word no sometimes, and instead, doing what you really want to do. It also involves decisions that make you happy and safe in life. As a bonus, this kind of self-love teaches others how you want to be treated.
Love stands for kindness. When we think of someone like Mother Theresa, who loved all of Earth’s creatures, love and kindness go hand in hand. This kindness extends from having the ability to care about other people, and their feelings and happiness, on a daily basis. Looking at life from their perspective allows you to treat them in a way that will uplift their day. After all, everyone wants happiness in their life, and when you truly love someone, you will recognize that need.
Love stands for patience. Seeing past the annoying habits of someone can be hard, but if you love them, then you tend to love them despite their annoying habits. True love makes us more tolerant towards others. We avoid giving them criticism, and instead we find the patience to allow them to be who they are without complaint.
Love stands for passion. This is how so many of us know that we have fallen in love with someone, be it during dating or otherwise. We start to feel passionate about them and their lives, and that enthusiasm about them makes us want to keep them in our lives for good. You often know that you are passionate about someone or something when you start to cheer them on and root for their happiness and success as you would your own.
Love stands for respect. When you love someone, you give them the respect that they deserve and put value on them and their life. You admire their talents, strengths, and individuality. Disrespect such as disregard, scorn, or hatred towards someone else does not show them love in a way that real love stands for.
Love stands for forgiveness. This is a hard one for many people as trespasses against them are hard to let go of. However, if you really love someone (or in some cases love yourself) then you will forgive them for the mistakes that they made against you and move on without hatred in your heart. This doesn’t mean that you have to forget what they have done to you, but it does mean that you can’t truly love someone (or yourself) if you have a wall of anger, hate, or mistrust built up. Where there is love, there has to be forgiveness.
Love stands for encouragement. It means that you are willing to support someone else in their endeavours, even if you don’t agree with their endeavours. For example, many people would not allow their husbands or sons to go off to war if they could help it, but they love them enough to allow them to make the choice that makes them feel good about themselves and their life. They encourage their decision and pray for their success.
Love stands for sharing yourself. It does not entail boasting or bragging about your life to other people, but rather sharing in your successes, accomplishments, and even failures. It’s about opening yourself up to someone and allowing them to see your deepest and darkest secrets. It’s about loving them enough to share your life and your private thoughts with them.
Love stands for faith. It means showing your confidence towards others and helping them feel confident as well. It’s about not putting on a sour face that puts the person you love on a shaky ground, but rather standing behind them and having the conviction that their beliefs are right for them and that their life is going in the exact direction that it should be heading. Faith is the absence of doubt.
So, in the end, what does love stand for? It stands for a deep respect and understanding towards others and yourself. It is about looking at the bright side of life, and seeing the good that it has to offer you. It is about looking past the negativity and the wrong doings of others (and yourself) and moving forward towards a bright future. In the end, love stands for happiness and peace.