Lately, I have been having dialogues that involved dissecting the word “LOVE”. Generations past have done the same but for some reason, mankind is never satisfied with the insights we amass; it’s like we never quite get a hold of it. I’ve read articles and lots of literature that try to tell us what love is but I’ve also looked into myself and just maybe, I have some answers.
P.S- These are strictly my beliefs/opinions and I only hope they convey substance.
Love is not just a feeling. Before you pounce on me, hear me out. Love entails emotions but is not one in itself. Love is not like happiness or pain; it ought to be a long term experience. The crux of marital and relationship problems lies with thinking love is just a feeling and taking actions based on those feelings. If it were just a feeling, you wouldn’t feel like it on some days, and when those days come, you’ll pack your bags and bail. Love is a character.
It’s a spirit.
It is patient, kind, faithful, loyal, courageous, truthful, long suffering, tender and peaceful. All these things, in my opinion, are not feelings. They constitute a behavior. Love cannot be just a nitpicky feeling.
Love is a decision. I am not sure I believe in ‘Love at first sight’. As a matter of fact, I think there is no such thing but in the grapple for perfection, we build our hopes upon a chimera that passes away like the morning mist. Ask the married folks around you, it’s the decision that binds you and not the feelings, all the time. On some days, you’ll look at that sexy hunk of a husband and see a leprechaun. Oh and that pretty ass wife might look like the Grinch who stole the good life from you. So yes, it’s a decision. It requires conscious effort to keep it together.
Love is an art. It requires adornment, trimming, renewal. Leave it alone and it becomes dreary. The candles must be kept burning. You don’t fall in love and leave it alone. You strive to stay in it. You have to do certain things to cause greater endearment and to arouse thrill and desire, and then the love grows. Yes, love grows just as it diminishes. Like any discipline, it has branches that complete the circuit. Learn the art of seduction and sex, understand the value of friendship, Keep fit and stay attractive, acquire financial and investment skills, Invest in each others’ strengths and dreams, indulge your fantasies, and yes, learn the art of fun. Just like any art, it can be learnt; how else do we explain the success of betrothals? How else can we explain accepting in-laws and step kids? How else can we explain accepting and loving someone undeserving of our affection? Loving is an art honed with subtlety.
Love is a force. I’d say it is one of the strongest forces controlling the universe. Like sex and money, the power coursing from it is mind-blowing. Love changes people, mends broken hearts, offers hope and bestows life. Love gives you the power to tame the brutality of man. Loving a spouse wields greater life-transforming power than nagging or cussing.
Love may never be enough. As uncanny as this may sound, I’ve heard of couples who loved each other a great deal but couldn’t make it work. This is where compatibility, aspirations, money and all those feelings come in. Even with love, we have to find other things. In financial crisis, you may not see the love and may not be able to deal with that. If you have conflicting core values, you may not think love enough reason to discard the core of your being. Some prior decisions or commitments may not give way to love. So as amazing as love is, it needs more than itself to work.
Love is precious. Don’t waste it on people who are too shallow to understand it. Start by loving God and then yourself. It makes it easier to love another and be loved. In loving him, God teaches you to love and accept yourself, showing you to be better than you already are. In having someone who you are accountable to, you will cherish what you have with others and treat them with such affection as is bestowed on you.
I’m still learning and I earnestly desire that one day I’ll experience these things of which I write. I’d love to hear your opinions on the subject matter.