Dr. Ellerby's Ancient Pathways to Spiritual Awakening.
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The Difference Between Love and Loving

Posted: July 7, 2010

It is hard to admit but love and loving are not the same thing, and most of us are naturally good at 'love' but struggle more with 'loving.' To love someone is to feel that deep connection, affection, and even sense of completion with someone. We can love friends, family, lovers, coworkers, pets and more. Love is an inexplicable feeling that implies a quality of connection and enduring devotion, though not implicitly exclusively. For example, you might say, 'I don't always like them, but I'll love my family no matter what and for the rest of my days.' Or you might say, 'I haven't spoken to my best friend from high school in ten years, but I still love her.' Some unfortunate times, we realize that we love our spouse, but may never really like them again.

Loving on the other hand is the active expression of love-rooted qualities in a relationship. People love others and can be cruel, critical, or jealous - but when you are being loving, then there is no room for such actions or feelings. To be loving requires no psychotherapy nor workshops or CDs. Being loving is simple and we all know what it means. Children are loving, pets are loving, people falling in love are loving, a parent to a newborn is usually loving - the rest of us… well…

To be loving is to be kind, forgiving, non-judgmental, accepting, affirming, respecting, proactive, and open. You might make it your task once a week, or even for one week to keep the idea and practice of being loving top of mind. Write a reminder on recipe cards and place them everywhere: Are you being loving with your thoughts? Are you being loving with your attitudes? Are you being loving to those you care about, and what about strangers? Are your decisions and communications loving? Let 'loving' be your meditation, your prayer, intent, goal and mantra for one week and see how it changes your perspectives.

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RE: The Difference Between Love and Loving
By: sleuthold - July 8, 2010 03:51 AM MST
I've been in a state of deep contemplation about this subject you wrote about this week. It was very timely for me to find your post. It is easy to look at others, such as your partner or your family when you are at odds, but ultimately they are some sort of reflection of the self. I have a lot of love and also feel that I am very loving. However, I must admit it is easy to overlook moments when you have not been loving and still try to classify it as loving when in reality it may have been love. Moments. When the rubber meets the road in a relationship it does come down to actively loving another person. Loving requires steadfast commitment, but also the ability to allow someone to grow and once in a while, falter, and be able to forgive. I am in one of those lessons now, and it has been challenging, but as anything, will likely be a powerful lesson in life. Thank you, Johnathan for your thought-provoking post.
RE: The Difference Between Love and Loving
By: sleuthold - July 8, 2010 04:48 AM MST
I also wanted to add that in these times when we are tested it becomes clear too, that we must extend that love and loving to ourselves. Without such an effort, love and loving others is not possible.
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