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We Are Who We Are Because We Are Loved


Although we say the word love many times a day thatis a difficult one when articulated as a commandment. Can love be commanded ? Love is not something that we ordinarily think as enforceable. Love is not an action: it is an attitude. Love is a state of being, a mixture of emotion and commitment that arises from the quality of a relationship. Love results in loving behavior, whether it is being between God and mankind, parents and children, or between spouses, siblings or friends. Love is mysterious. it is a gift that permeates our very existence.

When the Creator asks us to love, we are being asked to be mindful of the gifts that love has granted us. These gifts have
brought us to this present moment in our lives. When Akal Murat ask us to love, we are being asked to remain aware and to respond with gratitude. We are capable of this moment of communication because there were others who loved us and helped us reach our present place in our development as humans. Our cognitive and emotional development is due to a font of love and caring that has helped us become who we are.

If we are mindful, we learn that the gift of our existence and of our personal growth is founded in love and care with
which others have blessed us. We are in love's debt, so to speak. It is this sense of debt, this sense of joyful obligation, that commands us to give back.

This is what means to be commanded to love. In living we learn that we are bound to others and to "the Other".

The gift of Divine love and care must teach us that primary narcissism of childhood must give way to the reality that there really are others besides us. It is the awareness of the gifts of others that limits our behaviors based on impulse and selfishness. By living in a loving way we are called to identify those things that we must do for others and those things we cannot do. The honoring of these do's and don'ts bears witness that a loving relationship has been established with the Source of Existence and with those with whom we share this gift of life.

Claudia Gaspar Soares Martins

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