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Is that love?

January 5, 2011

“Behavior is a mirror in which every one displays his image.” —Goethe

I have been reminded lately of how my actions, not my thoughts or feelings, define who I am.  I can think all sorts of good thoughts, pray for good things, meditate on goodness and righteousness, but if I don’t show the world the true nature of my character through my actions, am I really a good person?

Patrick & Kristine

The love of my life.

At work, my reviews are based solely on my performance, not on how “nice” I am or how my boss feels about me.  It doesn’t really matter whether or not he likes me, if my work falls short of acceptable, I lose my job.  It’s really that simple.

If I am to say that I am your friend, there are actions that have to be taken for me to show you what you mean to me.  I can’t just sit around thinking about what great friends we are.  I need to spend time with you and listen to you when you want to talk (and keep my mouth shut).  I need to go with you to see that band you love (even if they’re not my favorite), or go for a long run with you on a cold Saturday morning (even though I’d rather stay in bed).  I have to take an active role if I say I am your friend.

It is the same with love.

More has been written and sung about love than probably any other subject.  Just do an iTunes search for songs with the word “love” in them and you’ll see what I mean.  There is an overwhelming amount of beautiful words written about love.  There is aching poetry, heart-wrenching novels, and countless love letters.  But in itself, is that love?

It has been said that love is a verb.  I get that now.  I used to think love was a feeling or an emotion, something I held on to tightly for fear of it slipping away.  I believe now that love is what I do, not how I feel.

“Love is ascribing worth to another at cost to yourself.” —Greg Boyd

Don’t get me wrong, at my core I am deeply romantic.  I can listen to a passionate love song and feel emotionally connected to the singer.  I read amorous poetry and suddenly my heart aches along with the writer.  I feel an abundance of love in my heart, but if that love is not expressed through my loving actions, is that love?

If you know me this will not come as a big surprise to you – I am in love.  Check that – I am completely, intensely, heels over head in love.  The Universe has brought an amazing, passionate, kind-hearted, and loving person into my life and I am absolutely enamored.  I am so thankful for the beautiful love we share, it is truly a gift.

So what do I do with this?  I move into action.  I love her.

Every day I show Kristine how much she means to me.  I make her coffee in the morning and bring it to her while she is getting ready.  I make her breakfast.  I clean the snow off her car and get it nice and warm for her.  I text her during her work day just to say “I’m thinking about you”.  I write her love letters and bring flowers home to her.  I whisper romantic (and private) words into her ear.  I tell her how pretty she is.  I expose my tender heart by sharing my intimate thoughts and feelings with her.

What do I expect in return?  Nothing.  What do I get in return?  I get more love and support from Kristine than I ever thought possible.

She is quite adept at letting me know how much I mean to her.  She prepares exquisite vegetarian dinners for us, and she is an amazing cook.  She calls me when we’re apart and tells me she misses me.  She rubs the stress from my tired shoulders, and really listens to me when I need to talk.  She showers my kids with love and encouragement.  She loves me for exactly who I am.  She has given her heart to me, which I protect and hold dear.

We are deeply connected in body, mind, and spirit.  We encourage each other to be who we were meant to be.  We empower one another with confidence and kindness.  We comfort each other and create space for the other to grow.  We ascribe worth to one another at cost to ourselves.  Our loving behavior reflects our true selves, the essence of our image.

Now that is love.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 5, 2011 11:05 am

    Two incredibly lucky people – would that we all should be so fortunate to find what you have found!
    Thank you for sharing all that which obviously spills out over your full cup!

    Marie

  2. January 5, 2011 11:18 am

    Congratulations on finding that someone with whom you can share your love, and in return, shares her own.

  3. Sarah Houston permalink
    January 5, 2011 2:12 pm

    Wow….this brought tears to my eyes. You made some great points. Thank you for sharing.

  4. January 6, 2011 5:28 pm

    Hi Patrick!

    Beautifully written post. I get a google alert for your/my/our name so I saw this. Congrats on your love!

    Best,

    Patrick M

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