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Finding Love

Taking a spiritual look at events and issues of special interest to young people.

A LOT of people want someone to save them from feeling lonely or unloved. Maybe you long for arms to hold you or a face to smile at you. And everyone wants to feel complete, loved, and understood.

Can we get what we want from another human being? If we're looking for unconditional love and understanding to come from a person, it will be tricky. Unconditional love does not have its source in another person. It has only one source-God.

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God is Love. That Love understands you completely. That Love is Principle, which never changes or fades. That Love cannot die. Jesus Christ taught, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17: 20, 21). He was making the point that love is not to be found outside oneself, but is already permanently inherent in each individual's makeup.

A relationship between two people can express the qualities of God. But the relationship is still not the source of good. Expecting human perfection can lead to disappointment. But a clear concept of God as Love can improve human relationships.

Here's another way of looking at it: if you think of love as something human beings pour back and forth into each other, like water in a pitcher, it's also easy to think that love is limited or changeable. One pitcher might be bigger than the other, for example, or some water might be spilled. Or you might just get tired of pouring.

On the other hand, if we see love as coming from God, there is no question it will ever run out or spill; with God as the source, we express His love to each other-but our share of it never diminishes. It flows from Him unendingly. Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, a book by Mary Baker Eddy, says this: "Human affection is not poured forth vainly, even though it meet no return. Love enriches the nature, enlarging, purifying, and elevating it" (p. 57). It is the act of loving, rather than the act of getting love, that satisfies. This involves learning about God's loving nature, finding the qualities that best exemplify this nature, and living these qualities through expressing them.

When I was a teenager, I used to daydream about finding the perfect guy. This guy loved me unconditionally and understood everything about me. Sometimes I would imagine him speaking to me, and he would say, "I love you."

As I grew older, I kept searching for the owner of that voice! I had many relationships, but none of them brought the perfect love I was seeking. At one point when I was once again unattached (and not too happy about it), I again heard the words "I love you" in my thinking. I racked my brains to figure out who was speaking. It finally occurred to me that I wasn't going to find the answer on my own. And for the first time I asked for help from God: "Who is speaking to me, Lord? Can I ever find him?" The answer came as a glow, warm, tangible, and comforting. "It's Me. I love you." I felt God speaking to me.

I can't begin to describe the gratitude that filled me. This was a simple, yet radically new answer. The idea that God, all along, had been loving me and understanding me completely healed the heartache I'd so often encountered in looking for a boyfriend. I now feel that God is with me all the time, and I know His love is perfect. I no longer feel I need to search for love, since divine Love is ever present.

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As Mrs. Eddy, who founded the Christian Science Church, wrote in a book called No and Yes, "True prayer is not asking God for love; it is learning to love, and to include all mankind in one affection" (p. 39). This has changed my approach to meeting people. In my case, instead of looking for someone to love me, I'm looking for ways to give love. It turns out that love is much more real and permanent when I'm expressing it than when I'm asking for it! And this will always be true for me under whatever circumstances.

You already have everything you need to feel love. God is here, supporting and loving you. Express His love! It will make you a more satisfied person, and will give you a sound foundation for meaningful and lasting relationships.

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