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What is love?

Author: Sarah Borg, Dip. HE (Melit.); B.A. (Hons) (Melit.)

In May we celebrate the love of mothers. However, there are, as we know, different forms of love that a person can give and receive throughout their life. In counselling, for instance, the counsellor provides unconditional positive regard to the person receiving counselling. This is an attitude that has care written all over it, an attitude aimed at enabling self-exploration and growth. The qualities of love described below are, to a greater or lesser extent, present in people who truly wish good to others.


What is Love?


Love cannot be described or explained in simple words.

A person can experience love and know it is love;

 one can give love and feel they have given love to someone.

But love is too multifaceted  to be contained in a singular definition


Love is alive


It drives, energises,


Love sparks into action,

gives life.

It saves and protects from danger.

Love brings awareness, awakens.

Love raises from spiritual death.


Love is stronger


than every obstacle,

every fear,

every physical ailment,

mental limitation,

emotional hurt,

every spiritual aridity,

natural law.

Love is abundant.


Love is a verb


Love gives,

provides for,

serves, feeds, feels.

Love forgives.

It expresses, addresses, explains.

Love cares.

It seeks, finds and shares.

Love heals and restores.

It touches, hugs,

brings joy.

Love hopes and keeps hoping.

Love gives hope.




Love is a symbolic gesture


Love lights a candle in the dark;

it is a caring tap on the shoulder;

that tear trickling down your face;

a smile, a warm hug.


Love is intelligent


It observes,





Love is capable,


Love knows.


Love is creative


It invents,



Love explores,

builds bridges, connects.


Love finds beauty in everything it loves,

and beautifies whatever it loves.

It can be methodical and it can improvise.

Love can radically transform subjects,

and it can mould them gently.

It is a gift, a grace.


Love is not…

 division but union;

not competition but collaboration;

not exclusion but

not a relief but a cure;

not superficial but very
intimate, touching the core.

It is not shallow but

not hierarchy but relationship;


Love is not a feeling, but a decision, a

Love does not judge,

but full of curiosity it

learns and understands;

Love does not take
advantage or abuse.

It does not feel superior
or try to inferiorise.

It does not seek approvalbut 

the truth.


Love is paradoxical


Love can provide meaning,

but can elicit many

Love shelters, protects,

but exposes to the elements too.

Love can teach slowly,

but also teaches the hard way.


Love can perform miracles,

but demands hard work as well.

Love is patient but can be furious.

While giving energy, it can be tiring.

Love can heal but poses
the risk of pain.

Love offers but does not impose.

It prays but does not beg.


Love remembers and it forgets.

It is innocent but very wise;

it is brave but can make itself small.

Although humble it has its own pride.

By excluding certain
things, Love includes others;

sometimes it terminates,
to create anew.

Love praises but does not
puff up falsely.

It is selfless but soulful.


Love is passion,

but still present in the ordinary and mundane.

It is permanent, but changes everything.

It can give everything, but can withold some too.

Love gets involved, but can give space.

Love tames and wildens.

Although simple, it is difficult to practise.

Love holds on, but can let go.

It gives flavour, but can
have a sour taste.


Love is quality, but renders quantity.

It creates meaning from chaos.

Love unites fragments,                                                                     

but can allow fragments to remain separate; broken,

but whole.

Love can be silent, although it would have a lot to say.

Love is holy but not

It can be raw and refined.

Love does not necessarily prevent pain.

It can say no to something,

in order to say yes to another.


Love remains


Love is not always sweet, not always spicy.

It may take on a different form,

but Love remains;


Love starts and completes.

Love is presence,

commitment, consistency,


It is loyal, responsibile, reliable.

Love keeps on trying,

and then puts more effort into trying again

and again.


It keeps believing,

seeing possibility and potential.

Love appreciates.

It is never defeated, but keeps pushing forward.

Love is kind, not by necessity but by choice;

it is kind even to those who are not kind in return.

Love can endure all things.


Love is hospitable


It invites and welcomes.

Love makes time.

It treats well,

sometimes pampers and

Love is tolerant and

It is gentle, sweet,

considerate, thoughtful,

respectful, sensitive.


Love is Divine


Love is sacred, infinite;

a force with no end.

It transcends space, time,

racial and cultural

differences in religious,

political and personal

Not even the sky is a
limit for Love.

Love goes beyond human


Love is truth,

and Love is the way.

Love gives peace.

And those who choose the
way of Love

will always win,
sometimes in alternative ways.




Love changes…




With Love, nothing stays
the same.

It changes me, you, him,
her, them.

True love changes us all.


Love is all


If you have Love, you
have everything;

if you do not have Love,
you have nothing.

This project has been funded by the Small Initiatives Support Scheme (SIS) managed by the Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector (MCVS)

This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the MCVS cannot be held responsible for the content or any use which may be made of the information contained therein.