Reflections on Love and Sacrifice
Where Does One Find Love?
Well, like any other living thing, Love is found right where it was always meant to be, of course. It hasn't been hiding from you. It isn't meant only for someone else, and you won't have to pay for it. You haven't passed it by or missed it because Love isn't something you will ever only barely recognize. If you are sad because you have feelings that are unrequited, you aren't feeling Love. Love is unconditional, and not dependant on reflection. When you "find Love", it is because you are giving it.
Think back to a time when you were very young... back to when you may have bumped your head, skinned your knee, or cried in the dark. You ran to Mother for the comfort you needed, and you found Love right where she was, and she was always ready to give it... unconditionally. As you grew into a more responsible child, Mother's example showed it's effects, and without realizing it, you began to give Love. A friend you shared a classroom with, or a dog who stayed at your side was the fortunate recipient. I think that sharing a classroom is much like sharing a foxhole or a lifeboat... others are in peril; and Love for one another shows where one covers the wound of a comrade in battle, or helps a drowning stranger into the boat. As a selfish boy I didn't recognize and utilize Mother's sacrificial example. I didn't cover the wounded comrade or take hold of the desperate hand reaching up from the dark, violent seas. I did, however, learn to Love my dog. A dog's example of unconditional love is a lesson in itself. No matter the punishment or neglect given them, they will always remain at your side. That fact has influenced me well into my adulthood.
Love is always where it was meant to be. There is no reflection or return. You find Love when you give it.
Where Is Love "Meant To Be"?
Love was part of the original equipment built into creation. This planet was built with Love in mind. Constructed meticulously for mankind, Earth was endowed with all of the materials men and women would need to live. Then men and women were created and Love was breathed into them... deep into a part of all of us called "the soul". It is a spiritual being. It cannot be seen in a mirror or touched with a finger or lip, because it is not physical. It cannot be removed or exchanged in a heart transplant operation. Love doesn't fade when wrinkles appear; nor does it die in an automobile accident. Love is protected in the soul.
When a man or woman recognizes how little his or her life is in the vastness of time and space, he or she is close to exposing the soul, and giving Love. It's the knowledge that we are only as large as the Love we give that allows us to live as we were meant to live, and gives us the strength to grip the hand reaching up from the crashing waves or to comfort the wounded. We ourselves are small, but Love is unlimited. In fact, the two share a reciprocal relationship:
Where "Self" is small, Love is GREAT.
How to Minimize "Self"
In a person's lifetime there are many opportunities and choices to serve, or be served. In fact, in any given day we might make the choice several times. In order to minimize "Self", thereby maximizing Love, it makes sense to choose to serve rather than be served. Most of those situations we encounter everyday at work, play, family, shopping or driving present the choice to serve or be served. Those who choose to serve others enjoy maximum Love.
To serve means "to recognize and tend to the needs or desires of another individual". Think of it as being wilfully in the employ of another person, paid or unpaid at whatever social, economic, political or physical level that employer may be. When the service is given to benefit another, "Self" is minimized and Love will be maximized. It could be serving soup to the homeless, helping the old woman with her groceries, opening the door for a lady, or assisting a family member, coworker or stranger. It is in giving what one has available to give that affords the greatest Love.
Sacrifice for Relationships
Love isn't always exchanged between two souls. In fact, those are the times when a person grows stronger in his or her ability to serve rather than be served... and to Love rather than be Loved. Sometimes at great personal sacrifice, a person develops a strong sense of servitude. Great servants make great leaders and great partners. The exercise of servitude thereby giving Love also makes a person lovable. This is how relationships are solidified.
Serving sacrificially without hope of return is the Love that brings people together. Souls are joined in friendship or marriage based on this Love.
Oh I'm sure it seems too simple-- serve and sacrifice, and you'll find Love. And some people since childhood have never practiced giving without receiving, or serving without being served. Their soul has diminished in size. Some people, in fact, resemble shells containing ego. But the capacity to sacrifice is there in all of us. The soul is expandable, and the Love it can dispense nearly limitless.
Again: Serve and Sacrifice..... Find Love
Read a Love Story:
- The Changing Seasons... A Love Story
He was born in the spring. He loved the fresh awakening of all living things...the budding trees, the cascading snow-melt, and especially the hungry fish. She was born in the fall. She loved quiet things...
Priceless Advice on Love
- How Will We Love
A Live Documentary about Relationships
© 2010 Mr. Smith
More by this Author
A high school teacher... A boy from Mississippi... A divisive Cold War symbol... The moon...the Dream...Cuban Missiles...Marilyn...Lennon... and 9/11. People and events that altered history. Remember?
Being married to a woman who doesn't fish isn't a handicap. Instead, it's a fun and challenging relationship full of give-and-take compromises.
A growing dissatisfaction with government and church brought forth an influential philosophy known as transcendentalism. Through this philosophy and in the movement it spawned, religious, social and educational norms...