Where W=Work, F=Force, and D=Distance the Force has traveled, the mathematical formula for work is W=F x D.
It is pretty simple and says that the work we do in any given moment or the effort we initiate requires a Force to be applied and that force is multiplied by the Movement that occurs to the object in front of us while applying this force. This equals the amount of work expressed, or Work.
Not only is love a lot of work, but it is also a huge topic and deserves a great deal of time and thought, much more than I have devoted to it here. But I do have a few ideas, of course.
With Feeling and Without
The word love has such an incredibly broad use in nearly all conversations and exchanges in today’s society. Because of such high use I think it is rarer to actually express a clear and intentional meaning of love with depth. The entire world uses this word with overwhelming feeling and quite often with very, very little feeling. Most of us have to ascertain the true level of feeling by the kind of emotional ‘energy’ or force from which it is projected and who is doing the projecting. Sometimes it is not very easy.
How many of us just sign our texts and emails and/or letters with those two words, ‘Love, Scott’? How many of us casually say “Love you”, when a good friend departs our house after diner or a party? Do they really mean love?
My experience is that on many occasions genuine love is surprisingly difficult to project with simple clarity and sincerity. However, when it is expressed clearly and with deeply genuine feeling, love is a powerful word that projects a powerful force. It can change lives…and it has.
The Work of Love
It is work – a lot of work! I remember coming home from my day job and finding my boys and their friends scattered throughout the house with their empty paper plates and sandwich wrappers tossed casually in the vicinity of the waste basket in the kitchen. They were completely focused on the video game. My first knee jerk reaction was to interrupt their game and ask all of them to clean up their mess. But I took a breath, opened my heart by thinking about how much I loved them, and decided to wait until they finished the game they were in. I realized that 15 minutes would not matter a lick. The little bit of work I did in that moment to remember just how much I loved them and how much I wanted their lives to be wonderful allowed me to recalibrate my own energy and just enjoy having them in my life. When their game was over, I asked them to clean up their mess before they started another game. They didn’t hesitate and then returned to their game.
The bulk of the ‘work’ related to love in any important and meaningful relationship is remembering our love and going inside ourselves and pulling it out. Sometimes it is easy like the video game situation I mentioned above and sometimes it is extremely difficult to do because the situation is much more serious, confusing, and charged with emotion – especially the emotion of anger or frustration. We have all experienced this. In those cases we have to do a lot of work just to want to find that love. But it is well worth the effort.
The relationship we have with our children is a beautiful example of how love can change a life. I realized early in my relationship with my boys that the most important structural element of a bridge to them is my expression of love. It seems to me that almost everything of real value in any close relationship is based on some aspect and expression of love, and for our children, it is especially important.
I believe that feelings of real commitment and real devotion should come naturally and purposefully from a base of love. And from these two important qualities we can fuel our drive and desire, which critically support the process of the building of important and very valuable relationships. When elements like these are deeply and consciously imbedded in the beginning of a connection process, it is possible to have a terrific exchange of the many different loving parts all merging together to create a deep, conscious, and lasting relationship with love as the foundation. Love should be the fundamental force that builds the bridge to our children. And we need it to strengthen our relationships, to truly experience life and to successfully manage our daily challenges.
In my next post, we’ll explore how to put love into action. It’s not always easy.