How Do You Know When Love Is Real???

M. Scott Peck wrote in The Road Less Traveled that love is “the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.”  By this definition, how many people can we say we truly, genuinely love?

Feminist author bell hooks wrote even more on this subject.  In All About Love: New Visions she writes “Most of us learn early on to think of love as a feeling.  When we feel deeply drawn to someone, we cathect with them; that is, we invest feeling or emotion in them…We all know how often individuals, feeling connected to someone through the process of cathecting, insist that they love the other person even if they are hurting or neglecting them.  Since their feeling is that of cathexis, they insist that what they feel is love…Love and abuse cannot coexist…Without justice there can be no love” (p. 5-6; 7).

This got me to thinking about how often we throw around the word love.  Some use it so much that it becomes meaningless.  Others are so afraid to say it they seem almost crazy.  However, if we think of love as an action rather than as a feeling, there’s less confusion.  There is also less of a need to say “I love you” because it becomes obvious – through our words and deeds – that we Love.

Let’s think about it for a second. If the only evidence we had were consistent acts of kindness, devotion, care, and commitment, how many people, things, hobbies, etc. could we say that we Love?  How many people, by this same criteria, actually Love us?

I can say unequivocally that I Love my children and that I Love art.  I can say this because of the amount of sacrifice, devotion, and commitment I have displayed.  There is a willingness to go out of your way for the things and people who you Love.  However, I want to do better.  I want to widen my circle.  I want to be someone who just Loves in general – not just a few people close to me, but everyone I interact with.  I know this is a tall order, but as an artist and a mystic, this is what I want – to embody and reveal Love through my work and through my everyday actions.  I have many goals for the New Year, but this is the most important – and challenging – one.

I wish all of you true Love throughout the holidays and into the New Year.  Happy Holidays!

Now go follow your bliss…

The following works are sketches I’ve been working on during the winter break

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