The three types of love are Eros, Philo and Agapé. If you recall, both Eros and Philo are conditional and temporary types of love. The basis for these is “as long as I get what I want, I will continue to love you.” Agapé Love/Spiritual Love/Lasting Love is unconditional and Divine.

Lasting Love is centered on a commitment to another’s highest good. It is unselfish, and the fulfillment of the commitment is its own reward.

So how do we recognize it? Think of a parent loving a child. If you have been a parent, you know that it takes a lot to raise a child or children. In the beginning, there are those sleepless nights, and the times you might have gone without, so that your child could have more. And I’m sure there were many times when you have made personal sacrifices to support them.

Other examples include the emergency responders, the men and women of the armed services, and the many others who put themselves in harm’s way to help others without expecting anything in return.

There are also people who practice daily prayer and contemplation to help enlighten the world’s collective consciousness, which helps alleviate suffering.

How many times have you done something just for the sake of doing it, without expecting anything back? Sometimes, feeling good might have been the result because of what you did but it wasn’t the reason for doing it.

Then there are times you’ve done something because of your of faith and/or traditions. There was little or no euphoric feeling from it, but you did it knowing it is for the greater good.

When we can recognize others in our world today who are performing these selfless acts, it can help make a difference in our lives and, in return, we can make a difference in the lives of others.

Here’s a tip. As long as you are expecting something in return, it is not Lasting Love.
Is Lasting Love relegated to the category of only doing what some might consider “nice” things?

No, absolutely not. Lasting Love can look like anger…recklessness…harm… destruction. It takes on many forms.

When a mother or father has to protect their child, it can look like many things. It can take the form of punishment...of discipline...of rescuing, or it can take the form of not enabling, among other ways. For the one on the receiving end (and even those who are looking on), these type of actions can feel or look cruel, harmful, destructive, etc. But if the parent is coming from a place of love and protection, rather than from a place of ego, pride and self-centered fear, it is Love. When Jesus of Nazareth threw out the moneychangers from the temple, it appeared that He was acting in anger. But in essence He was acting from Love of His Father.

Lasting Love is transformational. It is not something you understand, but something you experience. Lasting Love is a true mystery.

When we are able to look past the bodily designations…the material status, and see the very essence of God in them that is in us, then the fire is ignited.

When we are with that person and want to bask in that Lasting Love, there are ways to experience it. One way is being in Silence together…or chanting or constant prayer as a way of honoring the very essence which has kindled the Lasting Love in each of you…or being in Silence in a Sacred Place and taking in the essence of the Sacredness.

It’s also important to note that this Lasting Love is not just relegated to others. This Love can be experienced between you and God, as well. The Sufi Masters speak of it all the time. They speak of this Love as an extension of God. Being able to see this Love everywhere they turn is the very thing that the poems of Rumi and Hafiz speak of.

Why are we able to have Lasting Love with some and not others? I have heard it said that when we are able to recognize the same essence of God in others as in ourselves, then Lasting Love is ignited. We are recognizing that very essence of Life that is in us, in them.

And in return, we love them unconditionally, thus experiencing Lasting Love.

Author's Bio: 

Michael Hoare, D.D., is an author, minister and certified Angel Therapy Practitioner. He is the author of “Returning to WHOLENESS… Discovering Ah-Man,” which chronicles his journey to recovery and redemption and the founding of his spiritual recovery program: Ah-Man. Through a series of retreats and one-on-one counseling sessions, Hoare teaches men and women to embrace the Ah-Man within them by creating a loving relationship with one’s self, God and others; openness with other people; a sense of integrity; and the ability to communicate; all by incorporating trust, forgiveness and acceptance, thus allowing them to reach spiritual recovery and wholeness while attaining personal healing. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.