I would like to borrow this definition of love from Dr Brené Brown, an author, researcher and professor at Houston University. Dr Brown is well known for her research in the area of vulnerability and shame. In one of her bestsellers book, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are (Hazelden 2010), she
shares her ideas on what love is:
“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honour the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.
Love is not something we give or get, it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.
Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal and the withholding of affection damages the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare”.
Brown, Brené. The gifts of imperfection: Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are. Hazelden Publishing, 2010.