"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." -1 Corinthians 13:4–8a
All living things share a common trait: a deep desire to love and be loved.
For better or worse, divine evolution has hardwired this “love” trait into our DNA over millennia to help incentivize otherwise self-consumed beings to nurture their young, form bonds with neighbors in the tribe, and socialize in ways that foster individual, group and species survival.
But not all “love” is good for us, and for many, “good” love can be hard to find.
I’m a perfect example. Before getting married, my life was like a rerun of Sex & the City. On an endless quest for “love” in the form of Mr. Right, I dated every loser in the book. The nice guy next door was a perfect gentleman, but boring in bed; the jet-setting playboy made my spine tingle, but was a verbally abusive philanderer; the freakishly handsome jock with 6-pack abs and the IQ and emotional maturity of a 12 year-old; the “he’s sooo talented” tortured artist with an incurable drug problem; the brilliantly insecure attorney who begged me to shelf my career ambitions to become his well-manicured, overly educated stay-at-home trophy wife. Each one eventually brought out my worst character defects, at which point my ego drove me to recklessly move on to the next, looking for love in all the wrong places.
On and on this sad game of cat and mouse continued, until I hit rock bottom with a beau who decided the best way to tame me was with a nine millimeter handgun. I survived the incident, but at that exact moment I decided to stop settling for warm bodies and vowed never to date again until I found my soul mate. After what seemed like lifetimes of serial heartbreak and disappointment, I mustered the courage to go after what I’d always wanted but never felt I deserved: a divine, healthy partnership based on mutual love, trust, and spiritual self-realization.
And then I met Michael.
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