I would propose that the one true work of human kind is to learn to properly give and receive love. But what is it? Love is simply defined as the deep affection, attachment, or devotion of one to another. However, I would broaden this definition to encompass human dynamics. Love is first and foremost recognizing that we are all unique beings, with unique emotional, psychological, historical, cultural, economic, and social trajectories. To neglect this fact is the fail to love a person for exactly who they are. When we ignore these building blocks of a person, we also run the risk of failing to love them in a way that they can recognize as love. It is not enough to love a person the way that you would want to be loved. No, we must love people the way that they want to be loved, if we have any hope of receiving reciprocity in the relationship. This brings me to the second point which is that love signifies a relationship. It is not a solitary act. This hearkens back to the nature of Divinity; love too is about interconnectedness.
The above has been a discussion of love for another person. However love must also be enacted on the self. We must know ourselves, respect ourselves, and take care of ourselves because we matter too! Not only are we individually sacred beings connected to all of Creation (so to not love self is to not love an important part of Creation), but also we cannot adequately give or receive love if we do not first show deep affection for, attachment to, and devotion to ourselves. This love, like our love for others, must manifest on multiple levels. We must honor ourselves psycho-emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. When we wholly love ourselves, we are able to wholly love others.
When considering true love for another, many times that true love can mean “releasing” a person to their personal journey. Deep affection, attachment, and devotion do not erode when a person leaves our side. Many times, it is in allowing such a departure that we manifest our highest love for another person. First and foremost, we must be whole and healthy beings. Oftentimes, individuals have to realize that lofty goal through a different set of connections, networks, and personal processes. To hold onto a person in this stage stunts their individual growth. Ultimately, this kind of hording does not show love because it is not in the highest interest of the person who needs the growth. It also retards the growth of the hoarder because they are using another person to effect some personal emotional gain without regard for the other person.
As I consider the interconnectedness of all things, true love is not selfish because if freely given, it always returns to the sender and conversely, if freely accepted always benefits the sender and receiver! This applies to human interactions as well as our interaction with this planet and Her systems. When we respect the animals, plants, weather systems, landscapes, etc. of the Earth, we receive the best she has to offer and are thereby enriched by her love and our own love for her.
May all those who give love also receive love, and may those who receive love also give love.