Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Our Brand (Part 4) -- Love:


types-of-love The saying "Love is a many splendored thing" means it is brilliant, magnificent and beautiful.  As most of you know, there are several types of love:

Agápe  means love in a "spiritual" sense. It often refers to a general affection or deeper sense of "true unconditional love" rather than the attraction suggested by "eros." This love is selfless; it gives and expects nothing in return.  Whether the love given is returned or not, the person continues to love (even without any self-benefit).

Éros is "physical" passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. Romantic, pure emotion without the balance of logic. "Love at first sight".

Philia is "mental" love. This type of love has give and take. It includes loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality and familiarity. Philia denotes a general type of love, used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity, etcetera.

Keith and I have this as part of our brand to show how we feel about each other as well as the people around us.  We choose to love people unconditionally.  That is not to say that we love them the same way that I love Keith or that he loves me -  for lack of a better term, we have different heart spaces for people.

Heart space number 1: Spousal love

The love I have for my husband is a combination of all 3 of these types of love.  I love him mentally, physically and spiritually.  Some are stronger than others at various points, but they are always all there.  It is a beautiful, magnificent thing, one which many people comment about on a regular basis.  But let me tell you, it is work.  We made a choice to love each other through everything. 

Heart space number 2:  Our family by blood and choice

Whether our family is by blood or by choice they have a bond of love with each of them.  To us, our friends are our family and we strive to have our family as our friends.  We call our close friends our brothers and sisters, daughters and sons.  Few we call mom and dad.  But all of them have a special place in our heart.  

We have been told that our hearts are to big, because we give people multiple chances if they screw up.  We don't really live by the "fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me" because we genuinely care about people.  We want to see our friends happy and will help anywhere that we can to make that happen.  We love them with the philia and agape types of love.  It is give and take, but it is also unconditional.  We may get frustrated with them and need to take a break, but it doesn't change the fact that we love them.

Please understand that there is a big difference between friends and acquaintances.  I like most of my acquaintances, but I would not necessarily open my home or my heart to them, until I know them well enough to call them my family. 

When you truly love someone, you want to see them happy and comfort them when they are not.  The easiest way to let people know you love them is to show that you are thinking about them, even if it is nothing more than a quick text or phone call.  Chances are very good that if a person pops into your head there is a reason that you need to talk to them.

Until next week...