Mar 20 2010

How To Use Love

Love is a thing we’re always searching for, but when we find it, do we know how to use it to best effect?  When we’re giving it, how do we hope it will be used?  It’s odd to talk about “using” love, but no one wants to see love squandered or abused.  Here’s how to let love make you shine.

 Strength and Love by michkav

While studying Russian language in college, I wrote a short prose poem (in Russian) about my thoughts on using love.  Below is the original text and the rough English translation.

Когда тебе угрожает тяжесть твоих забот,
не отдыхай безопасно в моих тёплых объятиях,
но крепко стой на основе моей любви,
и не поддавайся.

When the weight of your concerns threatens you,
do not rest safely in my warm embrace,
but stand firmly on the foundation of my love,
and do not give in.

It is far too easy to tell ourselves that love is the answer, that it is a simple solution to all our pressures and perils.  We expect love to shine brightly, keeping the dark at bay and casting a rosy glow into every corner of our lives.  The truth is: love does not shine; it makes us shine.  Instead of looking to it for answers, we should use it to find our own.  When we allow love to be our magical remedy, we covet it, pursue it, and ultimately strangle it.

Fortunately, love is a plentiful resource.  It is given freely by many who seem to be fountains of caring and support, and it is discovered abundantly in places and times you’d never expect it.  It is grown, too; it can be nurtured like a delicate rose, or like a weed, it can sprout where you really didn’t want it.  It need never be earned – that is simply against its nature.

sprout out of wooden guardrail by seppi_hofer

So do not grasp at love.  Do not hold tightly to it in fear or use it as a shield against life.  Do not hoard it, build walls around it, or put it on a pedestal.  Instead, recognize that it is and will always be all around you.  And knowing that it will always be there for you, use it as a foundation for your own strength.

Understand that people cannot solve your problems, and their love cannot do so either.  You must stand strong and confront your issues, using the love you are receiving, discovering, and growing to support you.

How do you use love?

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