As an abstract concept, love is indeed something extremely hard for me to explain or try to understand. Recently I found myself in a situation in which my love and detachment had to be consciously put under control. Now, I will try to explain what I mean along the lines of what I have learned from the Baha’i Writings.
There are different kinds of love. The love for ourselves as creatures of God, the love for each other, and the love for and from God from and to us. The only love that is unconditional is the love of God for each one His creatures. Now, lets look at the love between two people. Once we have love for someone, it is very difficult not to mention the name of that person. All we want to do is to be with them, talk to them and serve them. If our love for another imperfect human being can be this strong and rule our actions with such power then shouldn’t our love for God -who is undoubtedly Perfect- be like a burning fire that consumes all desire of any other but Him?
This may seem like a contradictory theory, however, I have come to one conclusion: our love for others is guided and protected but our love for God. If we are united by and for the love of God then that love transcends all the boundaries of this earthly world. In other words, (and this was my latest discovery) our love must be detached from our hopes and desires. We love and give others the freedom to love us if they choose to. How often have we experienced disappointment after giving others as much love as we considered ourselves capable of giving and receiving nothing in return? To me, the key for happiness is in submissiveness to the Will of God. I have been reassured of this so many times in my life! Once we do all we can to show love to others, it is up to them to decide what they want to do with our love. Once we have put it out there, if it serves its purpose, then great! if it doesn’t, do not panic. Leave things to God and put your whole trust in Him. After all, He knows it all and knows what is best for us.
God has been telling humanity for thousands of years to love our neighbour for our love to Him, and today, this is clearly evident. For example: we are all affected when notified of the suffering of others in remote parts of the globe. Even though it may seem as it does not affect us in the least, it does. This reaction has to come from our love to God and therefore for His creation. In giving love, we cannot get picky. ‘Abdu’l-Baha said:
Do not be content with showing friendship in words alone, let your heart burn with loving kindness for all who may cross your path.