Love is the purpose and design of our existence. Being loved and feeling love for self and/or from another are as vital to our spirits as air is to our physical bodies. In every culture, “love” has been the subject of song, poetry, religious ceremony, public discourse, and intimate conversations between individuals. Indeed, our perceptions of love and our reactions to those perceptions can determine our character and our goals, and rule our lives to a far greater degree than we may realize. The danger is, if our perceptions about “love” are shame-based. See the “Shame vs. Guilt” workbook and videos for more information about shame.
If we have faulty core beliefs we will have the propensity to engage love’s counterfeit—lust (self-focused and self-centered thoughts and behaviors)—towards self or another being, instead of loving and genuinely caring for self and others.
Lust is not Love
The Truth is that love and lust are not the same. The expressions and feelings of love are completely contrary and opposing to the expressions and feelings of lust. In fact, when properly defined and explained, love and lust are on opposite ends of the intimacy, respect, and morality spectrum. Unfortunately, love and lust are often confused and their expressions are inappropriately defined. Lust’s internal expressions include feelings and thoughts of self-focus and self-titillation; its external expressions include using another person (or self) in overt and/or covert ways to promote self-serving agendas.
Lust is not love, and the belief that lust is love is a soul-destroying distortion of reality. Lust actuates moral decay of a human being, promotes objectification and betrayal of a person both physically and spiritually, and abjectly denounces and deprecates their Soul. To complicate this further, lust masquerades convincingly as love; it presents itself as the very face of selflessness and connection, keeping its selfish intentions hidden until it has entrapped its victims. By assaulting, subverting and animalizing the most innocent of our desires, lust makes its way into our own souls without our notice—it is the very definition of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Love, on the other hand, is physically, emotionally and spiritually nourishing, and represents the utmost of respect and value for self and another human being. Love embodies compassion, charity and empathy for a human spirit.
When lust is engaged (choice), it is frequently rationalized away, minimized or justified as reasonable or passionate or fun. On the other hand, love is oftentimes perceived as weak, vulnerable, risky, fearful or dull and not exciting. This type of confusion creates the illusion that lust is more desirable than love, and that lusting is full of connection and intimacy.