Sunday, January 13, 2008


When you truly love others, you want them to feel good.

You wish to do what is good for them and what makes them feel well cared for.

You wish them to be happy.

You are more concerned for their well-being, comfort and pleasure than for your own.

And these wishes and concerns of yours are altruistic, not selfish, because they prefer the gratification of others above yourself.

Except that, paradoxically, serving their desires rather than your own pleases you better.

Love, then, is self-sacrifice. Love means preferring others’ happiness above your own. Yet from seeing or supposing the happiness of your loved ones, you gain the gift of joy.

Can love be measured? Can there be more or less of love, degrees of love? Yes. The more you love others, the more you prefer gratifying them than pursuing your separate pleasures.

Love is the sacrifice of your own and others’ wants in deference to those of your beloved’s; yet it is a willing and happy sacrifice for the sake of what you love and care for more than your sole self.

To say you are “in love” makes love seem like a noun, a state of being, a condition. Yet love is not an object but an action or a deed and is better understood as a verb: love does.

Love attends to, cares about, cares for, and takes care of.

What you love is what you give yourself to freely, willingly, devotedly and delightedly. Love serves. And the effect on you of such service to the benefit of others is joy in yourself.

May our knowing be our doing.