If we want a kind of love that is enduring and steady under all circumstances, choose Agape Love. Agape Love is often referred to as a general affection or deeper sense of "true love or sacrificial love." Agape Love is a Classical Greek word for unconditional love. A love where we honor the divinity in another human being. This kind of love honors others whether or not the circumstances are pleasant and whether or not others satisfy us or meet our expectations and desires.
To move toward enduring love, I want you to think of love as a virtue rather than an emotion. Namaste from the Hindu tradition means: "I acknowledge the Spirit within you as the same Spirit within me." This kind of love involves a commitment to stay aware of our oneness with others and all life.
Even if someone has a difficult personality, flawed character or if circumstances are not easy, we can still honor that person from the spiritual perspective. Because in essence, we are all made of the same spirit.
Loving others in difficult times reminds me of water as a symbol of love because, water is known to be a universal solvent. Water goes everywhere, seeps into everything. No matter how hardened a substance may be, water will soften it. In the words of Matthew Fox, "There is no problem, however complex and difficult, that enough love cannot dissolve."
Water runs into the tiniest and most lowly places. When we love others unconditionally, we take the humble position of supporting them, of truly wanting them to be happy rather than seeking self-aggrandizement. Paul in his often quoted letter to the Corinthians said that love is not boastful and puffed up; rather, love is kind and humble.
Water is patient as it persistently wears away even the hardest granite mountain over millions of years, flushing away the rock's minerals downstream to the ocean. Unconditional loving allows us to wait, to take time, to be steady and still, to know only the best during intense moments, to have faith in the innate goodness of the other person and us, to believe that a positive, life-affirming outcome is always possible.
Water purifies and cleanses just by washing over anything, clearing away the silt and calcified residue, by virtue of simply being itself, by moving freely and continuously. Love is like that too. When a problem or misunderstanding arises, communication expressed from a gentle tide of kindness and openness has a cleansing effect so that people can feel the safety of releasing and sharing what's really troubling them. This releasing opens the way for reconciliation.
It is believed that our emotions are carried in the water of our bodies -- our tears, sweat, blood, and moist breath. The body shows a state of balance and good health when our water flow is unobstructed. Circulation of our feelings in life-affirming ways is like the circulation of water that keeps the pond of life fresh and clean, yielding ever greater life. Water is nourishing as it brings nutrients to the dry field to allow sprouting and blossoming for an abundant harvest. Like water, Love is the great nurturer.
So too is Love like water: Love is the natural medium that carries messages, that flow incessantly and silently, bringing us together, conveying what is often unspoken -- the message from our hearts to others and to the world -- allowing life to continue and flourish in all our relationships.