Updated: Jun 16
Any explanation of love is futile. This is because love is a matter of the heart and not a subject for the mind. To analyse and reason about love therefore defies understanding. Love is not logical, it cannot be.
A fundamental question, 'does love exist?'
Love exists, but not in the romantic manner described by poets, artists and authors or as shown on TV or cinema.
We mistake attraction and affection for love and that is why we fall in and fall out of love so easily. A caress, a kiss or some kind words and we fall in love. A harsh or thoughtless word or deed, an indifferent manner and suddenly we fall out of love.
What then is love?
Love is an unconditional giving, without any apparent reason to the object of our love. When we love we do not know why, but we simply give and share, never expecting nor demanding anything in return. A good example would be, a mother's love for her child, even an unworthy child.
We humans like all other creatures are basically selfish. Selfishness and love are incompatible. However unlike other creatures we humans possess the capacity rare as it may be, to transcend our selfishness.
As social creatures we form pair bonds to mate, form families and social groupings so as to obtain and provide care and protection. We mistake our attachment and affection for love.
Attachments and bonds by necessity have to be clothed in finery, but to love is to lay naked our heart, to become vulnerable and hence hurt.
This fear of getting hurt is the the primary reason we dare not love, because we are scared of getting hurt. This is why most people rarely experience love.
Children love so readily because they are innocent. Adults love when we are foolish. In both cases the mind has no role in loving.
All things of great value are termed as invaluable. It does not mean that there is no value, it means the value is too high to be known. Love is invaluable.
Nevertheless pretensions of love abound and that also we manage to screw it up.
We have cheapened love by converting it into a commodity attaching material value to it.
The second reason why love passes us by is because we are always transacting 'love'.
We give money, material things, affection and sex, wanting something which we conveniently call 'love' in return. This is not love it is a deal. Deals are transactional and at best a compromise. Compromises always leave us dissatisfied.
The third reason why love passes us by is because of possessiveness.
Just imagine, what would happen if we took a flower and enclosed it in a box? The flower will lose its beauty and wither away. Or if we took the sweet water from a spring and stored it for an extended time? The water would become stale and taste foul. What would happen if we caged a beautiful bird? Unable to spread its glorious wings nor take flight, nor sing freely, it would lose much of its beauty and grace.
So it is with possessiveness, and what it does to love.
When we supposedly love someone, we tend to believe they belong to us. We assert an undeniable right over their body, mind and spirit, even their things and relations with others. They cannot associate with or love another person or thing unless we validate them, which we rarely ever do, or do so grudgingly.
Possessiveness places demands of impossible loyalties on the person we claim to love. Absurd and unnatural expectations, upon the object of our love make them dull and ugly, eventually making them undesirable and unlovable.
Relationships and love needs appropriate space to blossom. Too little then the relationship is stifled, too much and the relationship grows weak.
We have to remember, Anyone worth possessing, simply cannot be possessed.
We can love but we cannot force others to love us.
To love is to give, to be an emperor. To demand love is to be a beggar. We can choose what we want to be, an emperor or a beggar.
Love is probably the greatest feeling one can experience, it is beautiful and exhilarating.
We will know that love is true, when it is given without seeking anything in return.
If we love so, we will be loved so.
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