Do you think love is complicated, hard to describe, and difficult to figure out? Everyone longs for it because life is not worth living without it. We think we will know it when we see it, or feel it, but then we’re disappointed.

Literature, movies, music and art are littered with the stories of broken hearts, love found and lost. The primary focus of the human saga is love and relationships. Yet, we still find ourselves confused about what love is, while we struggle to fulfill needs.

The Imprint of Love’s Image

Your earliest images of love came from your parents and family. Even as a toddler you were exposed to love’s images in media. Think of Disney movies and classic fairy tales. Our beliefs about love develop over a long time with many influences. The brain filters the imagery, stories and experiences through personality – and a concept of love emerges.

Considering this, we have to do a lot of digging around inside our own heads to figure out what’s real and what’s not. Our thoughts, emotions and physical desires need a bit of dissection to see the relationship between them. If you really want to know what love is, you have to cut through all the concepts you’ve been imprinted with and get to the heart of the matter.

The Heart of the Matter

Heart is the impulse to love. The fundamental force of the universe is giving and receiving. Giving has an intentional purpose – to love and be loved.

And what is love? The root of love is caring about the other. Love looks different in each relationship: parent and child, brother and sister, husband and wife, extended family, and friends. But in all these relationships we feel loved when we feel the other cares about us. We give love when we care about them. However, the root of healthy caring is knowing your own value.

Some people get confused, and fall into the manipulative trap of an abuser because they have a warped sense of self-worth. Watch this video of Dr. Phil interviewing a young woman who thinks being hit is a sign of love:

What About Passion and Desire?

The dictionary definition of passion is, “a strong and barely controllable emotion.” So passion is just intense emotion, regardless of its purpose or direction. I prefer my husband’s definition: “Passion is total engagement of heart and desire with sincerity.” He is a passionate artist.

You can be passionate about anything, but passion without heart and sincerity can be trouble. Sincerely caring, wanting the best for your beloved, allows passion to be expressed in beautiful and meaningful ways. When you value yourself and others, you don’t want to hurt them emotionally or physically.

Love is not abuse, manipulation or allowing someone to hurt you

On February 10th, 50 Shades Darker, the sequel to 50 Shades of Gray, will be in theatres. Young people are curious, even about things they know are wrong. It’s tragic that movies like these gain popularity and influence culture.

We need to show our kids what real love is, and we need to talk to them about sex and violence. It’s out there, they will see it, so let’s make sure they have beautiful images, of loving relationships first.

Join the fight against sexual abuse: #FiftyShadesIsAbuse



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