Happiness is a mystery, like religion, and should never be rationalised.

~ Gilbert K Chesterton ~

Love For Good Reason

December 27th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 35 secs

Love has its reasons.

Love is a source of endless fascination for most of us. Will he love her? Does she love him? Do they love me?  We ask these questions because they set out the social fabric of what we perceive.

But love isn’t always what we expect. People love others because they get what they want from them. It might be love but it’s flawed at the core.

That guy who loves you because of your looks sure better have something more in his heart to survive the relationship’s waves. Unless, of course, it’s love as a short-term fling. Often, what passes for love is transactional pleasure.

What’s worse is that we can be like that too. “As long as you look after me, I’ll keep loving you too.” “ If you are nice to me, give me what I want, and make me feel good, we will always be together.” 

Actually, self-interest isn’t all-bad. Without it, we couldn’t manage life, let alone keep an eye on our looks, work harder in school, find a better job, and complain about overcharged bills.

But a give me what I want life needs to be balanced with insight and values that recognize the priority of others. Love that delights in the success and happiness of different people puts your self into perspective and frees us from getting stuck in a lock step obsession with needing constant attention.

Purists will say love that looks to someone else’s pleasures and finds satisfaction in giving still gets a secondary benefit. That’s a fact, yet it’s also beautifully attractive. To love your partner even when they don’t amuse you or make you feel winsome and wonderful is something quite remarkable.

Love like that doesn’t wash away with life’s tides. When somebody loves you that way, you feel safe. No more needing to impress, reserve headspace to play games, or waste energy wondering if his love will last. It’s freeing, and it helps create a tenderness that softens hard edge off life.

Surrounded by that kind of love, you can learn how to see yourself the way they see you. Through it, you can release yourself from that reserve of self-criticism you secretly keep.

Yes, I know, we shouldn’t need anyone else to love us to do all of that. It’s true. But it does make it easier and, deep down, we all long for that kind of all-embracing love in our life. And why not?

Some people lament not having a partner like that. But they know the love of a mother, father, sister, or brother who helps them get their internal bearings. Sometimes, that’s enough.

For others, there’s a friend to whom they tell everything. Not a lover mind, but a friend. In that loving bond, a person can know everything necessary to feel known and accepted. Such is the power of love, wherever it comes.

Being Christmas still (or near enough), I’m thinking a lot about love (as you can tell). About a Creator, kindness, tenderness, and humble strength. These ingredients add the zest to love in our life – far more than most care to mention. Despite our educated uneasiness about how love fits in an empirical world, we long for it with a profound passion.

If somebody loves you, then you have something of great worth in your life. But even if you feel its absence, be assured there are those who would embrace you with wide-open arms and no agendas. Some love like that because it’s what they believe in. Having no need for string, they love for good reason.


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