Loving someone is not a feeling/noun. Loving someone is an action/verb. I am literally loving another person when I give them my time, attention, affection, consideration, focus, effort, and sensitivity…regardless of how I feel about them. Love is not a magical emotion that is dependent on another person. Love is a conscious act of profound generosity.
I think that most people confuse love (verb) with the feelings of caring for someone or the experience of feeling a close emotional bond with that person. Basically, the very word “love” has had its definition and placement in language confused somehow. When you actively love another person, you are not feeling. You are giving/doing with the focused INTENTION and genuine desire to fulfill their physical or emotional needs. While this focus is in effect, the actions become very intimate and personal.
Many argue that the desire to do so is love itself, and that is where I fundamentally disagree. The desire to love someone can come from the feelings of gratitude and appreciation that they inspired in you when they gave to you, or the feelings of appreciating their mere presence in your life, or a desire for them to develop a deeper bond with you, or a whole list of other reasons. The point is that the desire to love someone is not love itself.
When you feel close to someone (the feelings that are confused with love), you are experiencing the residual and compounding effect of those loving actions. Think of it like working out. While you are working out (if you are not out of shape), you experience a great feeling that comes from the actions of working your body. As you work out more and more often, the feelings of pleasure increase more and more. You experience a deeper connection with your body, a much stronger sense of familiarity with your experience of it, and you become much more sensitive to what’s happening within it as a result. The effects of love work the exact same way…through repetitive action.
So in essence, when you actively love someone, you are rewarded with feelings of euphoria. Because most people aren’t aware of this process, they assume that it’s the PERSON who is making them feel this way. But in reality, that person doesn’t make you feel good until they GIVE to you. Cherishing and appreciating someone even when they don’t do much for you isn’t love either. It’s simply a deep feeling of appreciation for who they are or what their presence does in your life. Even a kind or compassionate word is a form of giving, so that’s how words inspire those feelings in you
As a final clarification, the actions by themselves are not enough to induce these feelings. Again, these actions have to be aligned with the INTENT and DESIRE to fulfill another person’s physical or emotional needs. Doing these actions out of a feeling of duty or obligation is experienced as what we are all familiar with…a job. That’s how parents can perform most of the physical acts (genuine compassion and sensitivity cannot be faked) for their children without the children ever feeling like their parents love them. There’s no faking intent or genuine desire. We’re all sensitive to it as human beings.
So the next time you suspect someone of being insincere when they attempt to convince you that they love you, instead of asking, “Do you?”…a more appropriate question is, “Are you?” As in…”Are you consistently giving me your time, attention, affection, consideration, focus, effort, and sensitivity?” These actions are a direct reflection of how they genuinely value your presence in their life. And I have a very strong feeling that, once you ask them THAT question, neither one of you will have to answer at all. Now, what you do in response to this new revelation is entirely up to you.
By: Michael Verdun