What Is Authentic Love In 2021?

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What Is Authentic Love In 2021?

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While everyone seems to be an expert from the looks of society, I don’t think anyone understands what is authentic love. Sure, we give lip service to it. We go to church and we quote scriptures about it. However, we fall short of authentic love.

So what is authentic love?

Personally, I don’t think it is some platitude or scripture you can quote. I don’t believe it is claiming you love others while your actions show your hypocritical behavior. Love isn’t about saying the right words, puffing yourself up for others to follow, or making it out that you know what it is when you don’t.

First Corinthians 13

While scripture is not my first choice in explaining this, I do like what First Corinthians 13 says about love.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

NIV, BibleGateWay.com

So many do this and they think that their life is righteous while everyone else is wrong. If you watch them on social media or their interactions with people, you can spot this clearly without much effort.

It isn’t about all the things you do or say. Love, and I mean authentic love, comes from deep within your heart, mind, body, soul and all that you do. It is what shows up when no one is looking and hides in humbleness when they are.

These days, so many that can recite these scriptures and profess how much they love one another, are nothing more than a clanging cymbal.

Family Lacks Authentic Love

Here’s another area that I have so much experience with in life. The family is supposed to be there for you through everything. They claim they stick with you no matter what happens. They claim this is authentic love. Yet, it is often so far from the truth that it means absolutely nothing.

In my family, my dad always lectured us that we must love one another as a family. He’d pound the table to get his point across to his captive audience. Yet his version of authentic love meant that he’d beat his wife and kids. It meant that he’d abuse his children. His version of love meant that he’d talk and gossip about everyone else while acting like he was more perfect than God himself.

As far as my family went, there was no love in it. Sure, we were taught that there was and I think there were moments of love, but not authentic love. It was mere words and actions. When times got rough, family members turned on one another and left them to lie in the ditch, cold and hungry and alone.

No one will admit it because after all they have God on their side. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see through the charade. While they may think it is authentic love, I have my eyes wide open and I’m not buying it.

New Age Authentic Love

While I don’t want to cast everyone in the same light, I have seen far too many new age alternative people act as if they love, when they don’t. Sure, you could say that by me making that statement I am judging and therefore I do not show love. This would be a valid point, but I’m trying to make an even bigger point about authentic love.

I have seen so many new age people share so many platitudes and easy as pie 1-2-3 solutions to life. They say it with a smile and they pontificate to the point that they are almost believable. In fact, I think some of them could sell ice to a person who is ice fishing in the arctic.

Instead of truly showing authentic love, they come up with all kinds of rituals, words, thoughts, and self-help solutions. Many times these have just enough truth in them to sound plausible and believable, but they lack substance. Instead of being there for someone, they minimize what others are experiencing and act as if the other person just needs to move on in life. It really is sad, but this happens so much in our society.

The Latest Rant Of The Day

These days the rants and screaming are coming so quickly I can barely keep up. I see so many acting as if they are self righteous and everyone else is lost. If you don’t believe the same things they do, you’re the one that has the problem. Authentic love is not practiced even in the least amount.

Sure, each of these people will claim they have love and they are looking out for the best for the world. I believe in their minds they think that is true, but they aren’t listening to the heart. There is no awareness running to the brain and no feeling radiating from their body.

Instead of them seeing the big picture, realizing how much they are the very same part of the problem they so despise, they just keep screaming. Yes, I realize that injustice or bullying or abuse need to be called out, but this morphs into something much greater than that.

It is far too easy to lose yourself in the screaming and ranting, thereby diluting the point you are trying to make. If your aim is to embrace authentic love, these behaviors often stray far from what you are trying to do. It happens so easily. In many instances, it is not easy to pull back as we as humans feel we need to jump in with both feet and respond or propagate what is being said. Love takes a backseat as we force our view on everyone, even if they don’t want it.

Without authentic love, you are a clanging symbol that beats down everyone in your path. The more you bully people into your way of thought, no matter how wrong or right you are, the more they build up a wall and ignore you. You’ll never get anywhere if all you are doing is screaming at the person. They will never want to listen to you if you demean them and put them down.

How Can You Show Authentic Love?

Check Your Ego At The Door

Authentic love requires that we keep the ego in check. Too many ignore this and operate from the ego, while thinking they are in touch with their heart. Often I wonder “how can they not see this is?” Without awareness and continued personal growth, you’re perpetuating something that hurts our civilization and planet. The ego holds too high of a regard for itself while destroying those wherever it goes.

Is It Helpful?

Have you ever stopped, especially on social media, to ask if what you are sharing and spreading around is truly helpful? It is the same in the circle of friends or people you interact with in a day. Is it helpful? So often I think we miss this point and so we end up hurting others. Maybe our intent is right, but we haven’t fully considered the side effects of what we do or say. I often think that if more people stopped to consider what it is they say or do or post online, the world would improve quickly.

Do You Need To Engage?

There are many times I see stuff posted online that makes my blood boil. At one time, I would have responded and put them in their place. Okay, at least I thought in my mind that I put them in their place, but did I really do that? Most likely, they paid little attention to what I said and dismissed it completely.

All too often we think we’ve got to respond to everything that comes to our attention, but that is simply not the case. If you are always screaming or ranting to other people, are you valuing them? Are you showing them authentic love? I think if you answered yes, you might need to do some soul searching. More often than not, it is better not to respond to everything. Pick and choose your battles so your words hold greater significance. There is no need to get down in the mud pit and wrestle with those that attempt to antagonize.

Stop Pointing The Finger

It is far too easy for humans who think they practice authentic love to point the finger at everyone else. Yes, I know, we all love to think we act one way when we don’t. We’re so quick in pointing the finger and we really need to stop it. It is hurting our civilization beyond measure and I’m fearful that we will get to a point of no return.

If you’re pointing the finger at someone, then you’ve got three fingers pointing back at yourself. In other words, for every time you point out the problems in another person, you’re mirroring three things that are a problem within yourself. Be careful, you might be neglecting your own behaviors in pointing out that of someone else.

Work On Yourself

If you really want to show authentic love, work on yourself. If you think you’ve arrived at an all-knowing point, then your ego is working overtime. Instead, open your eyes with awareness. See what parts within you need attention. Find those flaws that you harbor deep within and find a way to grow and evolve through them into a better self.

The world needs each one of us to work on ourselves. The more we do this individually, the more we change the world. It isn’t about what others do as much as it is about what we do. So, stop fooling yourself into complacency and start doing the hard work that will transform us into something better suited for the growth of humanity.

My Experiences

At one time I thought I had to point out the flaws in another person’s thinking. What I didn’t realize was that by me getting down and engaging with people, I was doing that which I despised. While I was giving them a piece of my mind, I was neglecting that I was the biggest hypocrite I could be. When I finally started to understand that and stop this behavior, my day became more peaceful.

One thing I have found is that social media engages and brings out some of the worst behavior in people that there is. No one sees it in themselves because their eyes are closed, but it is there.

I have slowed down and almost stopped social media and I’m thankful I did. It was not easy to do this, but my life isn’t wrapped up in the chaos. Here all along I thought I was engaging and helping, but in reality it was making things worse.

No one truly wanted to listen and social media often requires that we check our minds at the door. The ego engages as if tomorrow will never come, while keeping our eyes closed.

Sure, there are some good things that happen on social media and wonderful people supporting one another, but I’m not sure it outweighs the misery it invites. For me, I started with 30 days away from social media and now it has been many months. I’m not sure if I will go back because I don’t miss the chaos it invites without an invitation.

Authentic love requires that we see people for who they are. In my view, social media started to disfigure that image to the point where I couldn’t tell what was real and what was not. This may sound like a wild concept, but if you back away from the social media chaos, you more readily can see it playing out every day.

Each of us has to determine how we show authentic love to one another. Right now in our world, I think we are failing each other miserably. It doesn’t matter the issue or the location or belief system. I see it across all walks of life and all sets of beliefs and opinions. It is rather sad in my view.

Authentic love isn’t something that you claim you do or say you do. It is what shines from your life, actions, words, and heart. It happens automatically. If you truly want to know what is in someone’s heart, all you have to do is observe their words and behavior. They will either proclaim authentic love or it will be part of the problem that is harming this world.

Written 9/27/20

Photo by Marcin Jozwiak on Unsplash

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