Can anyone truly define love? I’m not sure because love is so deep a feeling, experienced in a variety of ways, that it makes it extremely difficult to assign words to this elusive emotion. Consequently, love is sometimes better addressed with actions rather than with words.

Love can also present itself in disguise and, therefore, not be recognizable at first glance. For example, telling someone the truth is a form of love, even though it may sting a bit in its delivery.

In addition to truth, love manifests itself when the following are exhibited: gratitude, kindness, respect, and honor, to name just a few. These are in direct contrast to how fear is manifested with guilt, envy, greed, lust, wrath and pride.

Love can make you crazy when you have it, and make you crazy when you are alone … dual in its nature, the same as the rest of life. On the other hand, Erich Fromm believes that "love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.”

No matter how you define it, what is important to remember about love is that it is the reason we are each here on Earth: to love and be loved; the rest of life is details.

Love and spirituality also go hand-in-hand.

Spirituality is a state of “beingness” that allows for the surrender to soul growth and development. A spiritual person embraces his human factor and feels his emotions; understands and releases them without judgment; works through the lessons presented; and then releases any associated agenda. This allows him to move through life without attaching to the outcome of each situation encountered.

In a committed relationship, when both partners are able to “surrender” to each other – that is, let go of judgment and fully accept the other – then a spiritual communing of the minds can be reached.

In this spiritual state, the following can be ascertained.

1. Partners view conflict as an avenue for learning and growth

2. Each partner realizes that not every nuance is about him or her and, therefore, doesn’t take every action personally.

3. Partners are able to be together and still allow the other time and space to have "alone time' when each can relax and rejuvenate. As Khalil Gibran described it, “Let there be spaces in your togetherness.”

4. Partners approach life without fixed expectations, which allow them to see every experience (negative and positive) as worthwhile and life affirming.

And if these seem lofty goals, they certainly are! However, please don't misunderstand what I'm saying.

Being spiritual doesn’t mean that you don’t feel your emotions. You must feel your emotions; that is how you process them. However, once processed, you can step back and view each situation more objectively. After this feat is accomplished, good solutions to issues can become evident.

These concepts and more are covered in a new book, "Understanding Spirituality From A to Z", which is a Spirituality 101 primer for those starting to explore the subject, as well as a good review for those more familiar with the field.

"Understanding Spirituality From A to Z" is available as free Kindle download on February 17-19, 2012 at

Author's Bio: 

Ellen Gerst is a grief and relationship coach, author and workshop leader who helps her clients and readers to change their perspective in order to move gracefully through difficult life circumstances to find renewal. She feels it is important to make the mind/body wellness connection to facilitate forward moving action towards one's goals.

She is the author of several books on both grief and relationships, available at her website at or via Amazon at