My family has been working our way through the first season of the TV series, Once Upon A Time, which is more or less about fairy tale characters living in the real world not knowing they are fairy tale characters and it winds it way back and forth between the fairy tales (with many very interesting twists) and their modern-day lives in a tiny town “somewhere” in Maine.  The focus of the series seems to be on finding your “True Love”.  The characters say things like “True Love’s Kiss can break any curse” and “Nothing is more powerful than True Love’s Kiss”.  Fairy tales are intertwined making various characters the main role in multiple stories (Snow White and Sleeping Beauty are the same person in this series as are Rumplestiltskin and The Beast, etc.)  Aside from the first two episodes this show is very family friendly (it’s a bit gory in the beginning) and has plenty of action/adventure scenes to please boys and men and family-appropriate romance for the female heart.  Once Upon A Time is well done and has fascinating twists and turns and it’s really made me think about True Love.

I’m watching an episode with my husband and it’s where the Snow White character and the Prince Charming character are falling in love in the real world, with no memories of their fairy tale life and love, photos of them together were taken and shown to Prince Charming’s real-life “wife” (they weren’t really married but it’s complicated so let’s just skip to the point…) and she looks at the pictures and asks another character “Have you ever been in love? Because I’m beginning to realize that I haven’t.  The way he looks at her and she looks at him, that’s True Love and I’ve never had that…”  So my husband looks at me and asks “Are we In Love?”       Really Awkward Moment!       I tell him yes we are but we’re still working on the mushy-gooshy part of it, which is true.  He is content with my answer but his question inspired me to investigate “True Love” a little bit more. defines “Love” as:  1. a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.  2. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.  3. sexual passion or desire.  4.  a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.  5. (used in direct address as a term of endearment, affection, or the like): Would you like to see a movie, love?

Given these definitions I should have “feelings” for my husband and children (or anybody) to qualify me as “loving” them.  I think my feeler is broke but does that really mean I don’t love them?  As Stephanie pointed out in her comment on an earlier post (“Do You Miss Me”), and I’m going to summarize what she said here, I do lots of stuff for my family, including sacrificing my own wants and desires to meet theirs – so my actions say I love them even if my feelings don’t.

The Bible says in I Corinthians 13:4 – 8:  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.

This definition of love is all action.  Love Does Stuff for the one(s) it loves.  Feelings don’t really even enter into the picture here, whereas in the dictionary definition you pretty much have feelings only.  Hmmm…  I definitely have one but not so much the other…  I’d like to have passion and affection in my family relationships.  And just to clarify – I want passion to and from my husband and affection to and from my kids and other family members and even friends.  I don’t want to run for public office in the future and have some weirdo out there misquoting my blog…  I will continue my actions of love towards others but what I really want at this point is feelings to and from other people.  I want to feel again.  I’d like to have passion for my husband.  I wouldn’t mind having passion for my art and my music again either.  I want my feeler fixed but that’s probably another blog.

So which one is True Love?  I think Hollywood places too much emphasis on the feelings part of Love and not enough (or hardly any emphasis at all) on the actions of Love and that one little re-definition has destroyed more relationships and marriages than could possibly be counted, in my humble opinion.  Gazing deeply into each other’s eyes and giving way to rising hormones is only creating feelings which come and go based on your circumstances.  The pursuit of “True Love” is really just like my dog chasing the red laser beam light.  He can’t ever catch it but it flashes over him in quick bursts.  Feelings, like a wild animal, cannot be caged and contained.  The whole point of a reading a romance novel is to experience the feelings of the heroine when her suitor finally captures her heart.  When the book is over the feelings fade and you need to read another one, and then another one…  That is not True Love.

The Bible also says:  Perfect Love casts out Fear  (I John 4:18) and Love covers a multitude of sins (I Peter 4:8).  So add that to being patient, kind, not envious, not proud or boastful, honoring to others, not self-centered, hard to make angry, doesn’t hold grudges, happy with the truth, protecting, trusting, hoping, perserving and never failing and I think this is what I want to be my True Love.  How about you?