Thursday, February 10, 2011

Love the One You're With

WARNING: I am not only going to write of love in this week before Valentine’s but I am also going to embed a couple of clichés. My apologies but I couldn’t help it, love made me do it!

We all know the quote that suggests when you do something you love you will never work a day in your life. There was a time when I was enthralled with this message; believing it wholeheartedly and even carrying it further to say that if I did what I loved, success in all its manifestations would follow. What I didn’t realize at the time was that there were different expressions of love. Unfortunately, the love that I was expressing back then was that of my codependent parts.

A quick recap. Behind every codependent behavior lies a desperate hope of getting one’s needs met. Said another way, things are given, more often than not, with investment in mind. If I love you, you will then love me. If I help you, you will then help, like; need me. If I show you that I am smarter, stronger; more powerful than you, you will then need me, look up to me, fear me and/or make me important in your life.

What I know now is that to love something or someone is to forgo expectation and to live in the joy of an open heart. To love with our codependent parts is to be imprisoned with a fierce and never satisfied longing. Non-codependent love sets the stage for mindfulness — a joy in the present moment. It is not limited by what we do or who we are but is all encompassing; all expansive. In love you will never work a day in your life because when you are engaged in something or someone you love, the heart opens and life is more play than work. Even the mundane or awful can transform in the face of love.

Love doesn’t mean we will be loved back, make money, have everlasting health, or have good things come back to us. Love is just love. While singular in its meaning it is also a world unto itself — a love without expectations allows us the freedom to live beyond expectations.

So, on this Valentine’s Day, I invite you, as I encourage myself, to look to love not as a step towards a goal but as an expansion of the heart; an expression of beauty and joy in the creative art of living. Love for the sake of loving or, as Stephen Stills so aptly wrote, when you cant be with the one you love, love the one you are with.


  1. I loved this; it's all so true.

  2. Thank you, Dorell, it sure works for me ...

  3. I really love this post as well. I am a romantic at heart, and the message here really speaks to me. It's a wonderful antidote to all of those dour articles about male/female dynamics and relationships being "work". People rarely talk about the joy involved in loving freely without expectation. Thank you for this!

  4. Thanks Kristen. I wrote this blog with the heartsick realization that I had been loving something with an insidious expectation of getting something back in return. It was hard to realize, harder to accept but yes, an incredible sense of freedom when done.