We cannot demand, command love anymore than we can command the moon and the stars, or the wind and rain. We can stage a seduction or mount a courtship, but the result is more likely to be infatuation, or two illusions dancing together, than love.
Love is bigger than you are. You can invite love, but you cannot dictate how, when, and where love expresses itself. You can choose to surrender to love or not, but in the end, love strikes like lightning: unpredictable and irrefutable. Love does not come with conditions, stipulations, addenda, or codes. Like the sun, love radiates independently of our fears and desires.
Love cannot be bought or sold. One can buy companionship, attention, and loyalty. You cannot make someone love you, nor can you prevent it — not for any amount of money. Love cannot be imprisoned, nor can it be legislated.
Love cannot be turned on as a reward. It cannot be turned off as a punishment. Only something else pretending to be love can be used as a lure, as a hook, for bait and switch, imitated, insinuated, but the real deal can never be delivered if it doesn’t spring freely from the heart.
This doesn’t mean that love allows destructive and abusive behaviors to go unchecked. Love speaks out for justice and protests when harm is being done. Love points out the consequences of hurting oneself or others. Love allows room for anger, grief, or pain to be expressed and released. But love does not threaten to withhold itself if it doesn’t get what it wants.
Love cares what becomes of you, because love knows that we are all interconnected. Love is inherently compassionate and empathic. Love knows that the “other” is also oneself. This is the true nature of love, and love itself can not be manipulated or restrained. Love honors the sovereignty of each soul. Love is its own law.
– Excerpted from The Seven Natural Laws of Love, by Deborah Anapol
Author’s Note: I encourage you to read her work in full.