I think we can start this section on love with an assumption that we would all likely agree on. We all want to be loved. Am I right? I mean unless you heart is that of the grinch, three sizes too small, then it’s pretty fair to say that we all have a goal in mind to be loved in our lives. So since we can agree on that I won’t spend a lot of time proving that and I’ll get right to the redefining that we discussed in the previous post.
Love has a PR problem because it’s branding identity is all over the place. As a guy who's done some marketing here and there, one thing you learn right away is that a brand must be consistent. Coca-cola isn’t just identifiable by it’s red label and white stripe but it has to be the right red and the same white stripe. In fact if someone were to try and use the a logo similar to that of coke on another product, coke would like ask, through legal means of force, to stop it so as to not tarnish the image of the product that has a special place in every georgians heart. So, I would like to formally send out a cease and desist letter to all those who are ruining love’s image.
You see love is marketed in a lot of ways that fall embarrassingly short of what love really is. Love is lust; I LOVE the head cheerleader!
Love isn’t obsession; I LOVE One Direction!
Love isn’t like; I LOVE playing basketball!
Love isn’t enjoy; I LOVE ice cream!
Love isn’t fanhood; I LOVE the Falcons!
Love isn’t sex; You don’t make LOVE, love makes you!
Love isn’t happiness, I LOVE that he’s sweet to me
Love isn’t need, I LOVE that he provides for me!
Love isn’t being hungry for; I LOVE macaroni and cheese!
All of these expressions of so called “love” are only tainting the true thing. We are taking this word, this idea, in vain and it is loosing it’s power. And sadly, because we don’t know what it is we go looking for it in “all the wrong places” as Waylon Jennings said.
I sang at a wedding today. I think we all associate weddings with love but sadly that is not the case any more either. Some marry for love, sure but some marry for convenience. Some marry out of obligation, guilt, fear, or merely the tax benefits. Thankfully though, as best I can tell from my external vantage point, it was love that brought these two together. But honestly, thats just a hope. There is absolutely no way of knowing in this world. We love weddings because of the hope of love, but if you want to believe that love is real, go to a funeral. That’s where a love that was once just the hope in a couple’s eyes gets proven.
At my table was a woman who had only recently lost her husband. They had been married for 36 years when he passed. He was a helicopter pilot for the U.S. Army and the National Guard and retired after 40 years of service. She had stood by him all those years only to watch him fade away at 65 which was far too young for a man who had so much life in him.
So you want to know what love is? It’s commitment. Its not a feeling, emotion, sensation, or desire. It’s a choice.
Listen, I like to be liked as much as the next guy but If I had to choose between millions liking me or one person being committed to me, I would choose the latter. I am fortunate to have a few people in my life who I believe are truly committed to me. Sometimes they like me and I’m pretty sure sometimes they don’t but their love for me isn’t tossed by those waves, rather it has been cast to a greater depth so that if everything goes crazy between us love will remain anchored.
That’s what we really long for isn’t it? We long for someone to commit to us, to say that if we screw up they won’t leave, to tell us that we are valuable to them and to stick around long enough to prove it. Being liked or lusted after leaves us feeling used because the moment we don’t bow to their desires or have a big zit on our nose we risk abandonment. We want to be loved and so we wear masks and play games in hopes that it will inspire commitment but the problem is we don’t have the energy to commit to the facades we have crafted.
So be yourself, wait for true love, don’t settle for less or buy the lie that you have to become more. I hope you find the courage.