"If you believe that the person who you love should be different then she/he is, then you don't have a relationship with her/him. You have a relation with an ideal image in your head. You have a relationship with your own thoughts." (Scott Kiloby)

Before you read on, take a moment to examine the following question: 'What does Love mean to you in relation to your lover?'
Below are some answers, which have come over in exchange with people:
  • That you love the other person as he/she is... Even if he is grumpy or doesn't meet his/her appointments with you or is busy with the phone instead of with you...? Do you still love him or her?
  • If you really love someone, then you are there when the person needs you... Right? Then you are prepared to set yourself aside.
    After all, you are not only living for yourself.
  • In a love affair you agree with each other what you are going to do. You can't always do what you want, you also have to adjust to your loved one... Even if the inner voice actually indicates a different choice at that moment? Yes, even then.
  • Love is respectful to others, so you say 'yes' to an invitation to a birthday party or wedding party, even if you feel a 'no'. Not going is not loving towards the other person. You wouldn't like it yourself if people didn't show up at your party, right?
  • A love relationship is not only a love affair with the person him/herself, but also a relationship with his or her family. If you are not invited by your sweetheart to his/her family, then there is something wrong..., then he/she doesn't really love you, because otherwise he/she would involve you into the family, right? 
    Or the other way around: if you indicate that you have a relationship with him or her and not with his or her family, then according to your partner that isn't a full-fledged relationship, because that includes encounters with the family...
  • Love means that you don't criticize your partner in company. Even if you don't agree with your partner or if you really notice that he/she is talking nonsense…, you don't speak out because you don't want to hurt him or her. You have to be tactful, so that he/she doesn't have to feel ashamed or experience a loss of prestige in the sight of others. And above all, you don't want to have problems with your partner afterwards.
  • Love means you like being together, you want to spend as much time as possible together, you go on holiday together, go to friends together, watch series together on the couch etc. Or the opposite: you don't want an intimate relationship, because you experience a relationship as suffocating.
  • In conclusion..., Love is exclusive, special: I only love you... even though I sometimes dream about someone else who really listen to me and understand me... 
And is that then Love, the package of images/beliefs that we must adhere to or behave under the denominator of 'Love'???

Is that Love with a capital L? Love that is unconditional: love that doesn't want to change the other person, but takes the other person as he/she is. Love that doesn't get disturbed if the partner behaves differently from all those views and images we have about Love?

Or do we talk about love with a small letter 'l'? Love that sets conditions for the other person: I only love you if you follow a certain image I have about you and about love. Love that exists by the grace of rejection, disapproval and hate. In other words, a love that waveres: one moment I love you, the other moment I absolutely don't like you, I hate you and I dream about another partner who is capable to give me attention and see me as I am. 

Love that consists of needfullness, the other person must make me happy: he/she must give me a feeling of safety, support and friendship, because being alone and figuring everything out on my own is to difficult for me.
We think we know what Love is, Love with a capital L. We assume that the conceptions of Love are Love itself, but is that so?

And at some point we step into the marriage boat... because we love each other so much..., we marry to seal our love relationship…
But if we know so well what Love is, how is it possible that one in three marriages ends in divorce?

Well, we have just been brought up with different views (ideas) about the Heart, about Love and it is precisely these views that make us miss the Love with a capital L.
The head versus the heart.

Maybe we don't know what Love is. Perhaps the Love that we know exists only from all kinds of ideas about Love, but that is not Love itself, it are only ideas that we have received in the course of our lives, based on all sorts of cultural, religious and social influences.

And a recipe for Love is not Love, it is a recipe and a recipe leads in advance to frustration, loneliness, emptiness, disappointment, fear and guilt. The other doesn't meet up our expectations..., he/she doesn't behave according to the recipe, according to all conceptions of love that come from the mind. He/she doesn't make me happy..., he/she doesn't take me into account, he/she doesn't want to do anything for me, he/she is always working etc.

The heart however, has no conceptions about Love, the heart is Love. The heart makes no choice: for or against. The heart rejects nothing, is open, unlimited and unconditional, without any requirement or expectations towards the other.

The heart has no resistance switch. Love is total acceptance of what is, which, incidentally, doesn't mean that you take everything as sweet cake from the other and accept it.
It also doesn't mean that you can't express your wish or desire... you can, but don't expect a 'yes' in advance or if the other person says 'no', don't interpret this as: she/he doesn't love me.

Recently I listened to a satsang from Adyashanti.
An aged man who was born and raised in Japan said the following about his 30-year marriage: "When we marry in Japan we don't assume that we know what Love is, we see marriage as a possible opportunity to discover what Love is. At the beginning of our marriage there were all kinds of aspects to my wife that I didn't appreciate, that I wanted to change; some things of her bothered me and I tried subtly to change certain characteristics of her until I discovered that it wasn't Love with a capital L, so after a few years I stopped doing that. It took me 15 years to extinguish any form of subtle manipulation, to totally accept my wife as she is. And now I can rightly say that we discover Love."

Perhaps it is time to recognize that all these images of unconditional love are not Love itself. Let's start there..., let's assume that we don't know what Love is..., let us see through all ideas and opinions for what they are: inventions from the mind, the head instead of the Heart. Let us approach the other from openness and emptiness, all demands and expectations on the shovel. Maybe..., maybe we discover at some point in our lives what Love really is...

If you love a person, how can you destroy his or her freedom?
If you trust a person, you trust his or her freedom too.

LinkedIn: Caroline Ootes