“What is love?” not “Love!”
When we ask others this question, It’s beautiful to see how unique each response – and relationship – can be.
If an individual or couple (new or established) struggles to formulate an answer, I offer one of my favorite definitions of love, coming from Shakespeare’s famous play, Romeo and Juliet.
You may remember the famous balcony scene when a young Juliet gazes down upon Romeo and says, “Romeo, the more I give to you, the more I seem to have.”
That’s the strange, scary, exhilarating truth about love: the more we give, the more we have.
I call it the law of self-donation, which has been written into all of creation.
If you walk outside and look up, for example, what will you see? The sun does not shine on itself; it gives its light away, warming and brightening the Earth.
Trees do not eat their own fruit; they offer it for the nourishment of others. Meanwhile, their branches reach for the heavens while growing leaves, offering others shade from the noonday heat.
Rivers do not drink their own water. Flowers release their fragrance.
Living for others – giving oneself away – is a law of nature written into all of creation, including every human heart.
In what ways do I give myself away? How do I live like the sun and the stars?
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,” Jesus says, “and your neighbor as yourself.” These are the greatest of the commandments.
May we embrace this law of self-donation, living like all of creation. For the more we give, the more we will seem to have.