Living the Sweet Life: What is LOVE and the Meaning of LIFE

By Alisa Murray
Nationally recognized
portrait artist and

Hey Sweet Lifers! What is this thing called love? Over the years countless sonnets, stories and songs have been written on the subject and through searching for the answer to the question of love, yet another answer most profound reveals itself. The answer to the question, “What is the meaning of life!”

The Apostle Paul, in his epistle to the Corinthian church, wrote one of the most beloved accounts of what love is and should be. The Corinthians were in a culture war and were in need of some insights on how to be sweet. Very appropriate for our times now too, don’t you think? Paul, as you know, calls each person to examine their lives and reflect on how they are living,  and in his words, exemplifies what it means to live in Christ. The epistle states on love and loving, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”(1 Corinthians 13) The Apostle Paul covers every possible instance that occurs in the human experience. More profound than that though is in coming to terms with the meaning of life through love and loving.

Over my 52 years I’d like to think that I have finally figured out the answer to the question what is love? This has not been easy, and it is ever evolving as most humans are. When love is explained through patience and kindness, I have mastered that. I find myself taking a deep breath; even when someone says or has done something that is not sweet, I now just smile. Granny used to say, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” I certainly do not at my age want to be another “wrong.” As far as envy and boasting goes . . . well, there’s still a tinge of heart tugs when I see a really fine ride and then I remind myself that I have no car payment. I have had the rude part down since a child as I was raised correctly, but that part about self-seeking has been more difficult to master. Thinking of others first I think comes with age, and the older I get, the better I get at it, especially once I became a mother. Oh I have the anger thing down like you would not believe! I have replaced any anger with a great response that I encourage you to try too…disappointed! This is especially effective with your children and friends.

Keeping tabs on things done or left undone I tend to at church during the confession. God’s got His own list of bad stuff we’ve done, should have done and flat out just did not do, and I ain’t got time to worry about that! The good and evil of this world is His battle too; ours is to simply and beautifully love one another.

The answers to life’s biggest questions come in duality and in simple and small things. Life can seem hard to figure out, but when you examine it fully, it’s really very simple. The acceptance that everyone is a child of God and even the most different from us are to be loved unconditionally is paramount. When we realize that to love completely we are shining our light and gifting the world with God’s intentions our lives have meaning and purpose, and we are able to share and care for one another and make a difference while we are here. You have to start with yourself first and love yourself, then you’ll become empowered to fully love others. Only then you can truly show love and “live a sweet life!”

Take Care of YOU & stay “sweet!”