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What Love Is

by Jill Knuttila

Love is a strong word that describes the emotion of a deep feeling one has for another. We try to describe it in romance books and movies, but it does no justice to what love really is.

What is love, you ask? Well, everyone has his or her own definition of love, so I can only give you my definition. I consider my definition of love far different than the world's. First of all, love is more than a feeling, than an emotion. Love is a commitment. If you truly love a person, you are committed to him. You will never abandon him. With this commitment comes caring. You care about a person you love. You care when they are hurting, when they are sick, and you even care for them during their happy times.

Even caring goes deeper than what I have mentioned. Caring is kindness; giving freely to those you love without expecting anything in return. Caring is a sympathetic listener that is willing to listen to your troubles. Caring is supportive that cuddles and nurtures when you need it. Caring is understanding and non-judgmental. Caring is acceptance, accepting you no matter who you are, no matter your values.

Besides caring being the core of love, love also consists of tenderness, softness, honesty, and trust. Trust also plays a big role in love. Trust is giving your complete self over to someone. What I mean by this statement is that you can be yourself and not be afraid of rejection, judgment, criticism or even ridicule. Trust is knowing that the person won't take advantage of your weaknesses. Without this trust, love cannot continue to live.

I am a true believer of the cliché, "love conquers all." If a relationship consists of all of what I have listed, love truly can conquer anything that this world throws at you.

Now, the world's definition of love is far different than mine. The world sees love as just an emotion that hits you. It is just an emotion that comes and goes in a matter in minutes, or in some cases, in a matter of years. How do I know this? Look at the divorce rate. It is very common for people to get a divorce after one month, one year, and sometimes even ten to twenty years of marriage. Where is the commitment there? If they had truly loved each other, divorce wouldn't be a consideration. There is no such thing as falling out of love.

The world sees love as money. Somehow, the world puts a value upon love. I have heard of many people marrying others just for how rich they are, and once there is not enough money, the marriage is broken up. Not only is love labeled as a value, but it is also considered a toy, a toy that is used to manipulate and take advantage of someone.

So, as you can see, my view of love is the opposite of the world's view of love. The next question is, do I believe this world will see love as me? No, I don't believe so. Will the world fulfill my expectations of love? No. Will someone in this world fulfill my expectations of love? No. I have yet to see it fulfilled.

Jill Knuttila a contributing writer for Ancient and Future Catholics, is a writer and seeker, and only believes clichés when she has examined them closely.

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