Cupid’s arrows, butterflies in the stomach – are these the criteria for true love? The Creator has prepared for us a unique formula for happiness in relationships…
Every woman, every man dreams of living in love, joy and harmony. Unfortunately, the statistics of divorce and unhappy marriages seem to want to argue with this fact. In one article, I saw that the average divorce rate in the world reaches 50%. For those who have not repeated mathematics for a long time – 50% is HALF. Scary, no?
There are a lot of reasons why people get divorced. The most popular of them, for sure, are from the category “when they got married, they didn’t know who she really was.”
But I want to dare to make a bold suggestion, which, in my opinion, refers to the first cause. People too freely and thoughtlessly use the concept of “love”, believing that if they have “it”, then they can dare and build a family, not knowing at all and not understanding what love is in general and what are its “characteristic criteria”.
I want to ask you something: isn’t love just a magical feeling that comes by itself, that is, when cupid plunged his arrows into 2 unwitting dreamers, can love have any criteria and characteristics , rules and laws?! After all, love is such a sublime feeling that is not subject to change and control? … ”
I asked you, but I will answer, sorry, first. Perhaps in exciting Hollywood films and tearful novels of the great literary heritage of mankind – this is true. (If anything, about the great literary heritage – this is irony; when I found out what real life is, including love, I really regretted that I had once polluted my brain with these falsely romantic ideas; you definitely won’t learn life from there. The situation is even worse with the Hollywood “school of life”.)
But in real life THIS IS NOT SO. Love – like all other feelings of a person can and should be controlled, it is not something passive that finds a person, but a person CHOOSES to love, chooses to support and even increase his love. No one says that managing feelings is easy – this is real work and thank God, the Torah fully teaches us how to do it. And the most beautiful thing here is that this work brings the most desirable fruits in the world – after all, there is nothing that makes us happier and more whole than when there is real harmony between a man and a woman.
I want to touch on the places where the Torah speaks of love, because it is from there, from the Main Encyclopedia of Life, that we can truly understand what true love is. So, the commandment to “love” is spoken of in 2 places: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Vayikra 19:18) and “And love your God Almighty” (Deuteronomy 6:5). To repeat our recent question: is it possible to order a person to have certain feelings for something, for someone? Is it within his control?!
And immediately we repeat the answer: IT IS POSSIBLE. If the Creator, the One Who created us, our soul and thinking, gave such a commandment to His children, then they are quite capable of fulfilling it. A loving Father does not give His child a task that he cannot complete.
Then how to learn this great gift – to increase and multiply love?
A wise mother once said to her daughter on her wedding day, “If you make your husband a king in your house, he will make you a queen.”
What did the wise mother mean? For her to bow to her husband when he enters the house, wash his shirts 3 times each and prepare a feast for the whole world every day? Our story is about a Jewish wise mother, therefore, she meant nothing more than full-fledged bestowal and respect. She meant that when we make sure that our other half feels good, then hr will respect her and take into account her feelings and requests, then we will not get the same back, but rather, a hundredfold more.
As you know, the word natan in Hebrew means “gave away” (from the root netin – bestowal). How surprising that if you “turn” the word in the opposite direction, from the end to the beginning, you get the same thing – natan … Our sages do not stop talking about this: “Giving gives birth to bestowal.” Do not worry that the giving person will deprive himself of something. The Almighty promises that he will always get back.
According to our formula, the following equation is obtained: “Bestowal gives birth to bestowal” = “bestowal gives birth to love.”
Another secret from Jewish etymology: we call love in Hebrew the word ahava. And the root of this word – hav – by definition means “to give” (you probably like to sing the song “hava nagila” … Did you think it was about some kind of hava? No, “hava nagila” means “let’s rejoice”!). Once again we are convinced that both these aspects – love and bestowal – are equal.
When my husband and I got engaged, and he came from a sunny Israel to a snowy Moscow, we went to introduce him to the rabbi of the community, Rabbi David Yushuvaev. He was very happy that the “veteran” of his community was finally getting married and blessed us like this: “The first thing I want you to always remember is that it is not how to be happy in marriage, but how to make each other happy.” I remember that these words motivated me a lot.
So, so far we have managed to understand and firmly decide that the first definition of true love is to give as much as possible to the one you want to love, invest in a relationship with him and take care of him, respect his interests and support him in everything.
Yesterday I asked my husband what he thinks true love is. The answer sounded more serious than I expected, he said: “True love is when you are ready to give your soul for the one you love.”
He probably knows what he’s talking about 😉
I wish all of us to be sincere, aware of their strengths and capabilities, people who always remember that everything in their lives depends on THEIR CHOICE, on their desire. And those who want to build their home truly strong and happy, let them know that “this is not in Heaven” – you just need to reach out to another and want to make him happy. Then this happiness will come back like a boomerang.