November 26, 2017 Liza Swedarsky, MD FacebookTwitterPinterest For the past three years I have been on a quest to find the true definition of Love. My voracious search was sparked by a series of relationship challenges, life events, jobs and scenarios where I had a challenging time finding what I felt to be Love. But what truly propelled me to ask the question, “What is Love?” pre-dated recent years. My interactions with so many women presenting with anxiety, depression, fatigue, and chronic pain syndromes caught my attention. During their visits for a seemingly gynecologic problem, in treating the whole woman, I found the common theme behind many conditions was that they didn’t know Love. In fact many of the women admitted they’d never asked themselves “What do I Love?” They may have found themselves in an ambivalent relationship, a job they despised, or fell victim to the day-to-day ego driven demands of life. One of the most common themes that resonated in my office was the lack of self-love. And when they knew there was no Love in what they were voluntarily committing themselves to, they continued to do it anyhow. Love has a healing quality. But it has to be self-identified, defined and explored. So I’ve searched everywhere. First I started with the Bible, as Corinthians was my “go to” as a child whenever I struggled with understanding an interaction that I didn’t find to be loving. Filled with gratitude for being sent to Sunday school in the first place, I recalled having wisdom at a young age to check in with the definition. As life evolved, I continued my search. I have reflected on Khalil Gibran’s masterpiece, The Prophet, and read his explanation of love more times that I can count. I researched the words of famous poets, and checked in with Maya Angelou’s bests. Ultimately I admired most the definition of love I found in Ernest Holmes’s Metaphysical Dictionary. One day after sitting in quiet reflection, the definition poured through me. Love cannot be defined with just a few words. It is a living present energy. And it’s an energy I’ve decided must be present in all I do without compromise. So I asked myself “What is Love?” and my inner voice sang… Love is an energy that is warm, tender, embracing, and comforting. Love is reflected in deep understanding and unconditional, non-judgmental acceptance. Love has a way of opening me up, wide open. It is the outpouring of Spirit and everything divine and pure. Love is deeper than affection. It is infinite, wide, and vast. Love produces an intuitive knowing between the lover and the beloved blanketed by trust. Love nurtures vulnerability and allows it to grow and blossom into seemingly unattainable possibilities without it. Love is Spirit manifest as energy; an energy that can transform a human touch or a gaze in to a deep sense of protective knowing, kindness, compassion, and empathy. Love is a seer and the doer. Love sees authenticity and embraces it, and allows grounds for its cultivation regardless if there was space. Love is the bases for everything good, pure, and light filled. Love feels right all the time. Love is grace. Love makes my inner voice sing in peaceful chords. Today I had a long talk with a woman struggling with the loss of a family member. “He loved me she said, he saw me for who I am and when he left he took that.” Overwhelmed with grief and sorry, her energy was palpable through the phone and I found myself crying too. I reminded her that the Love he saw was reflected back. I reminded her to see for herself what he was reflecting back to her, and to embrace her loving qualities when being faced with the deepest pain of her grief. I charged her to be all of her loving qualities with conviction. In finding the lesson in everything we encounter in life, whether it is an illness, the death of a loved one, or embracing change, we must ask ourselves the following questions: What do I Love? Where is the Love here? What is the Love that I see? What is the Love my loved ones see in me? Be Love. Embrace it. The energy of Love will open you up and start the healing process.