Love is an incredibly strong force, and anyone who has truly been in love can attest to that. But Irene Weinberg, author of They Serve Bagels in Heaven, has experienced a love that has transcended death. The moral of her story is to “Be loving and kind to everyone … including yourself. Live love as a behavior.”

I believe in living love and that love is more than a feeling, it is an action. When talking about romantic love, you see so many people in toxic relationships and asked why they stay, they will tell you with conviction, “But I love him/her.”

Love isn’t just a feeling of butterflies in the pit of your stomach. Real love is shown through behavior and actions. In other words, even if someone gives you a tingly feeling, if they lie, cheat, disrespect or abuse, then what appears as love probably isn’t.

Yet, it goes beyond romantic love. I’ve had to let go of several close friendship and distance myself from a couple of family members because the love was one-sided. I opened up my home, I tried to be there whenever I was needed, I stayed up all night comforting and talking them through a hard time. Yet, none of those things were reciprocated. In the case of a former best friend, I found that this person was telling lies about me, sharing things I had told her in confidence, and sleeping with my boyfriend. Clearly, these were not actions and behaviors of love.

Even if you treat others with love, many of us fail to show ourselves that same love. We say things to ourselves that we’d never say to another person (especially, someone we love). We don’t treat ourselves with the care we’d show a child, spouse or friend. We’d make sure our children kept their doctor and dentist appointments. We'd make sure our spouse  is cared for. How often do we ignore our own health concerns and refuse to care for ourselves. We need to do better.

Love is a verb, meaning it should be associated with action.

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