loveselfcrpdToday is Valentine’s Day. Again.

In years past this hasn’t exactly been my favorite holiday, but this year I am endeavoring to change my association with its inevitable annual arrival to one which emits more, um, positive vibes.

On that subject, I recently read a very interesting piece about love. It challenged everything I thought I knew about the subject (which, judging from past romantic relationships, isn’t much). Anyway, in the past, some articles I have read seemed to focus on making a distinction between whether love is an adjective or a verb. Other articles I have read have chosen to state that love is an action, not a word.

But this particular article put all of that aside, claimed semantics and then took a step beyond it all into brand new territory.

Love, said the writer, is not a thing at all. It is who we are – each of us – it is the essence of our being.

I don’t know about you, but when I read this, something in my particular being breathed a sigh of relief. No more do I have to worry about “doing” it wrong. No longer do I have to struggle with the concept that I possess some kind of inner love “bank account” that I make deposits and withdrawals from.

Speaking of which, the author also asserted that love is not something that is exchanged between two people. Rather, it is always present within each of us, but it can be shared – in that when two people are both tuned in to the essence of who they are as love while keeping company with each other, the experience of each person’s love is magnified through such a supportive mutual understanding.

This, of course, should make it easier in the future to break up with people, lose loved ones, endure interpersonal conflict and all the rest. I doubt it will, but it should.

After all, we are still human, and I for one can share that I am drawn to “giving” and “receiving” love like the moths outside my door are drawn to the beam of my front porch light (and to the nearby lights in my kitchen and living room, where they happily set up shop whenever they can manage to zip past me). So it will likely take me some time to make the shift from “gaining” or “losing” love to “sharing the love I already have within and can never lose or gain”.

But as of this moment, I am inspired to try! I will keep you posted.

And happy Valentine’s Day!

Today’s Takeaway: How do you interact with the word – and the experience – of love? Do you find that it works to think of love in terms of a definition, of an action, or an exchange or of an essence of being (or all of the above?) There of course is no one right or wrong answer here and nobody really knows what “love” is – it is one of the great mysteries of being alive. But it can be helpful to arrive at a working understanding of love that supports you in feeling and sharing more of it in your own life.

Love inside photo available from Shutterstock



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    Last reviewed: 14 Feb 2013

APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2013). Love is Not a Verb. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 1, 2014, from



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