Friday, March 17, 2006

Learning what love is

"One word frees us of all the weight and pain in life. That word is love."
- Sophocles (c. 496BC - 406BC )

Very easy to say, isn't it? We likely all read that kind of thing at least once in a while.

But what does it mean? How can love free us of all the weight and pain in life? How is that possible?

Those who must ask this question have not experienced real love. I regret having to say that. As someone who has experienced that kind of love only in recent years, I can testify that the statement is true.

Can I, then, tell you how to find that kind of love? Probably not. But I can tell you three ingredients of it: trust, commitment and touching.

And the greatest of these (if that is possible) is touching. We all have a basic human need for touch. If that need is not met to our (usually unrecognized) satisfaction, then our lives will be unsettled, even fearful.

If you fear, then you do not have a sufficient level of trust, commitment and touching from another person.

To get that from another person, you must first be prepared to give it to someone else, even if you don't receive it yourself at first. That may mean heartache. But eventually it means love.

If you have love, you know it. If you don't, you really don't know what love is.

But you can try. Begin with an understanding of that basic need for touch. Give it freely, honestly and tenderly. Not as a prelude to sex, but as a goal in itself.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to point the direction toward love.
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