For Valentine’s Day here is my paraphrase of Paul’s I Corinthians 13 meditation on love.

If I say all the right words, filled with sentiment and romance, but do not choose to behave in ways that demonstrate the practical action of my love for you, my words are empty and meaningless.

If I provide for you a lavish lifestyle and cater to your every need but do not choose to live in relationship to you in a way that is loving, I am not really in relationship with you at all. My behaviour is just one more strategy to meet my own needs. Without love, I will always treat you as an object for my personal gratification.

If I sacrifice myself for you, appearing to give up my desires in service to you, but do this without love, no one gains anything. My actions are merely another form of self-indulgence.

Love chooses to be patient. This means I will stick with you even at those times when our relationship may be painful.

Love chooses to behave in ways that are kind. To be kind is to be generous towards you, making space for you to be the person you are, rather than demanding you be the person I might think I would like you to be.

When I choose to love you I will not indulge my petty emotions. I will choose to be gentle towards you and to let go of those small irritants upon which it is so easy to focus. We can all find them, if we look hard enough. But, clinging to an endless litany of little complaints will corrode the love in our relationship.

Love does not insist on winning. It is ready to let go, to surrender, to lay down the need to be right all the time. I will know I have chosen love when I am no longer determined to get my way.

Resentment and irritability are sure signs that I am walking away from love.

When I take delight in your failings and emphasize what I perceive to be your flaws, I have given up on love.

Love always seeks to see the truth, even when it may be painful.

There are times when love simply puts up with things as they are.

When I choose love I commit myself to trust you even when I feel as if your behaviour has let me down.

My love for you never gives up hoping we will continue to grow and prosper together.

Love is the ultimate power that generates and sustains life. It is the enduring force of the universe. It will never be defeated.

Everything else is temporary.

I know that I do not understand life fully. I understand neither myself nor you completely. There are so many ways in which my vision is inadequate. I am so often self-deceived.

We will only prosper in this relationship of love if we determine we will carry on together being as honest as we possibly can with ourselves and with one another. Anything less than this deep commitment to transparency and truthfulness is simply childish.

When I choose love, I choose to grow up into that fullness for which I know in my deepest being, I was created. I trust that as I stay open to love and to you, I will see more clearly and understand more accurately. One day I will see fully how love always wins.

The greatest things in my life are my choice to trust, my determination to look forward in hope, and my intention to behave in ways that nurture love. But the greatest thing of all is to choose consistently to live more fully a practical active life of love.

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For the complement to this morning’s and yesterday’s posts on love, view the beautiful video by Amos Lee that Jacqueline attached in the comment’s section to yesterday’s post. It can be viewed at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=aW85s8wX1LE

Here are the lyrics:

AMOS LEE – FLOWER

My heart is a flower
That blooms every hour
I believe in the power
Of love

Well, in this lonesome meadow
Well, as soft as a pillow
Ooh, I pray that we’ll go back
To love

I’m gonna reach on up, over that fear
Ah whenever I’m alone, won’t you please be near
I know there’s darkness before the dawn
Tomorrow’s comin’ and yesterday’s gone

I’m gonna get my baby, head upstream
Fall asleep in her arms and drift away in a dream
Gonna go out walkin’ in the mornin’ light
Well, I know that my tomorrow gonna be alright
Gonna be alright

Well, I never shall wither
Well, of course, I, I forgive her
Oh, please, Lord, deliver me
To love, alright

I’m gonna reach on up, over that fear
Ah whenever I’m alone, won’t you please be near
I know there’s darkness before the dawn
Tomorrow’s comin’ and yesterday’s gone

I’m gonna get my baby, head upstream
Fall asleep in her arms and drift away in a dream
Gonna go out walkin’ in the mornin’ light
Well, I know that my tomorrow gonna be alright

Gonna be alright
(Reach on up, whenever I’m alone)
Gonna be alright
(Reach on up, whenever I’m alone)
Gonna be alright
(Reach on up)

My heart is a flower
That blooms every hour
I believe in the power
I believe in the power
Of love
Of love

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