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With Love

There is so much more to saying “ I love you” : what precedes, encompasses and follows-up the actual statement of Love. For there are so many ways to say I love you without even verbalising it, for Love comes in various ways, in different forms, it is timeless and boundless. However, before you define Love you have to live with love, you have to own your “I-love-yous”.

Dr S. Peck, a great psychiatrist, wrote in “The Road Less Travelled”: “Love is as love does. Love is an act of will: both an intention and an action. We do not have to love, we chose to love”. To me, this is the essence of Love. It is not the saying/stating part of the“ I-love-you”, rather than what do you do once you own it. You may say easily “I love you” but if you do not back up your words with real actions then the words are left empty, void, nonsense. On the contrary, you may not state “ I love you” often but once you become aware that you do, you realise how important is to make it part of you, to own it. Please mind the nuance of “owing your I-love-you”. In no way, am I referring to proving one’s love. It is not a matter of proving rather than feeling an inner spiritual need to go beyond the self, to take that extra mile, to run the distance on a personal path of growth and a conscious commitment towards your beloved.

We have been raised with all sorts of filters that tell us what love is or what love should be, how we will find it, how it feels to love and be loved, what is right or wrong in love. But honestly, have you ever thought that Love might not be all that? It is my belief that if were to get to know anything about Love, it would be only after we have set ourselves free from stereotypes and prejudices. Can you love someone if you do not love yourself? Does security provided by the other means true loving? Or is it just a fake shelter from fear and anxiety? And what about the stress of losing someone and the despair when you actually do? Is this Love?

Love is a conscious choice that entails first and foremost the decision to work on yourself. And as oxymoron as it may sound, Love is a choice of freedom within a committed relationship, meaning that you never become “one” but you find ways to be together. Love is not about being depended on the other nor wanting self-validation and constant reassurance. To own your “I-love-you” is to know your strengths and weaknesses and those of your partner’s and nevertheless to choose the balance. When you own your “I-love-you”, you are not trying to complete one another rather than you complement each other. Owing your “I-love-you” is sharing the happiness that springs within you, not discovering happiness only with the other. You cannot say “ I love you more” since you are incapable of measuring or comparing Love; it would be like comparing two different projections of two different people. What you “see in your lover” is not the “same that he/she sees in you”. Your true “I-love-you” opposes to jealousy, possessiveness, anger, fear.

This is my way to Love, so, which one is yours? For you have to experience it in your own way to know. One piece of advice though: seek no more and live your life with Love. ‘Cause after all, Life is Love and Love is You.


Chryssa Panou

Born in the city, raised in the countryside: vibrant urban rythms mixted with nature's colours run in my blood. A citizen of the world, a devoted European and a proud Greek, this multicultural aspect of life fascinates me and broadens my horizons. A city encouranges me to respect our differences but empowers me to believe in equality for all. My personal "journey to Ithaka" is finding my place in the universe and its place in me. My motto: "Life is Love and Love is You".

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