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WHAT IS LOVE?
How do we define love? Just what is love? Most of us have experienced a feeling of strong emotion for something or someone. The question is…. is it love? Love is certainly a complicated subject. It appears to be multi-sensation; physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, which tingles your very core. However, lust can give the same short-term goose-bump sensations.
Is Love a Mystery?
Yes, it appears that Love is a mystery. Mankind has tried throughout time to define what love is, but without much success. We love our children and our love is so deep that most of us would gladly give our life to spare that of our child. Some of us are passionate in our love of our four legged children, i.e., fur babies. They give us so much love and ask so little in return. We love music. Music also stirs our senses. When a familiar song plays, it can instantly transport you back to a place in time, so long ago, and magically play a video in your mind of where you were and what you were doing.
Most of us seek love; most of us want to be loved; and most of us want to give love. We experienced Puppy Love, when we knew we were in love forever. Perhaps it lasted a few weeks. Sometimes we misconstrue love. It seems that those marriages of 40 and 50 years lasted because they were good friends and were accepting of each other and their faults. That permitted them to stay in love because when we no longer are friends, we can no longer be lovers because all those petty annoyances balloon into gigantic issues resulting in disastrous endings to relationships.
Many of us love embroidery¦but that is different than loving a child or a spouse. Many men love their cars, especially those 57 Chevy’s, Corvettes and Mustangs. Some wives are convinced their husband loves his car more than them.
Did the Greeks have the Answer?
The ancient Greeks thought they were wise enough to define love so they pronounced that there were four (4) categories of love:
Agape: An unconditional reciprocating love for another, for instance, the fatherly love of God for humans, as well as the human reciprocal love for God and consequently and necessarily extending to the love of one’s fellow man.
Eros: Passionate Love “mostly sexual.” In ancient Greek mythology, Eros was the Greek god of love. His Roman counterpart was rumored to be Cupid (which translates into “desire”). In some Greek myths, Eros is said to be the son of Aphrodite. Eros was said to cause mischievous interventions in the affairs of gods and mortals causing bonds of love to form, often illicitly.
Philia: Displaying love by sharing resources and expecting something in return. Philia is usually translated as ‘friendship’ indicating that the notion of philia must be mutual. Therefore, this would exclude relationships with inanimate objects. Thus, if you have heard that you cannot love something that cannot love you back, this would be the Greek theory of Philia.
Storge: Referred to as familial love or natural affection, i.e., such as the love of a parent toward a child, loving felt between parents or children and the “social storge” being the form of love between friends and their desire to care compassionately for each other.
Love is Respect for all living things.
Thus, it would appear that Love is widely and loosely used. Usually, Love for the opposite sex means that you feel a strong attraction to that person, who early in the relationship gives you goose bumps and you desperately want to be close to them all the time. You feel the need to cater to their wants, needs and desires. We think we know we are in love when we feel these wonderful sensations but alas, sometimes it is short lived and that wanting to cater suddenly turns into feeling like a “servant” and then instant rebellion. The domino effect sets in and the the refusal to “serve” causes the “former recipient” of that adoration to become angry at being “rejected” since they are no longer “served”. Sadly, there is a fine line between Love and Hate and some cross the line and pursue hate and violence with the same surging emotions being used against the one they used to love.
In the end, I guess it really comes down to respect or the lack thereof. In other words….live and let live. As Adults, we need to respect each other and accept the other for what they are, without pushing our agenda on our spouse or loved one nor permitting them to push their agenda on us. If our agendas are in conflict….walk away! Never put yourself in the position of being a “slave” to anyone. Be kind, be respectful, but remain firm in your convictions of self-worth. Practice “reciprocal” love. Never do all the “giving” without “getting” the same love and respect in return. That way Love can remain in our hearts and minds.