Some Thoughts on Loving


Love is a difficult word to describe, especially in the English language. You can say you love tacos, you love your cousin, you love your spouse, and you love your life, and in all those statements you are talking about different kinds of love.

The Greeks had four words for talking about love:

Storge – enjoying someone for their familiarity, whether that’s family or old friends

Philia – the strong and unbreakable bond between best friends

Eros – sexual desire; the root word for erotic

Agape – unconditional love; to love with no bounds, even without reciprocation

We experience the first three loves all the time, but it’s this fourth kind of love that can revolutionize how we love others.

Agape is the type of love that none of us deserve and yet we all need. It’s the type of love that chooses to forgive endlessly, and embrace people for the simple fact that we’re all human.

We can start by no longer seeing people as a means to an end, but see everyone as an end in itself. In other words, don’t treat people as something that’s going to get you something you want later. Approach all people as if just interacting with them is the final and most perfect goal you could ask for. Appreciate people for simply being human.

Another beautiful way of describing love is a Japanese concept called Wabi Sabi.

It’s not easily translatable to English, but it refers to the value and beauty of all things that are imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It’s even an aesthetic in Japanese art. A Wabi Sabi art piece would present a vase, but highlight the crack in the vase—or perhaps even fill in the crack with gold.

This is a beautiful analogy for how we can see each other. We’re all broken and imperfect. Our real beauty is in our unique quirks and imperfections that can only be seen and appreciated when we slow down and pay attention.

All things are impermanent.

All things are imperfect.

All things are incomplete.

And that means we all have room to grow and learn, so be more gracious with others and celebrate any small movement of growth or learning experience however you experience it.

You’re lovely just the way you are.

So is everyone else.

So love yourself and others a little bit more today. We all can use it.

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