I actually started this post last week but didn’t publish it. I have been pondering the topic of love for years, and it has increased in intensity the past year or so. I know I already wrote one blog post related to it (bajillion waterfalls). But I am still thinking about love…and I’ll probably be thinking about it for a long time.
These are the questions that have been swirling around in my mind:
What is love?
What is being “in love”?
How do you know?
So, I have been asking people and collecting answers for awhile now. Here is a summary of what you all have said:
“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” -Robert Heinlein
“1. The ability to be yourself with that person, on all levels, even at your craziest, saddest and silliest.
2. Having the feeling that no one else in the world would understand just how you feel about this person.
3. Like every moment with them makes you want to sing (and quite possibly you do sing!)” – Sara
“I think of it as seeing yourself spending forever with one particular person, them being the first person you think of when you wake up and the last person you think of when you go to bed. The person you want to share all your happy thoughts with and all of your sad ones.” – Sam
“Love spells T-I-M-E” – Ben
“I believe being in love is wanting to give and give and give more.” – Kristie
“I think when you’re in love you can see the flaws in the person but it seems totally inconsequential because everything else is so great. (Blinded by love)” – Kristie
“The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
“When the happiness of your one beloved is more important to you than your own.” – Morgan
“When there are little to no barriers to emotional intimacy.” – Katie
“What my marriage taught me is that real love is only what you give. That’s all. Love is not “out there” waiting for you. It is in you. In your own heart, in what you are willing to give of it. We are all capable of love, but few of us have the courage to do it properly. You can take a person’s love and waste it. But you are the fool. When you give love, it grows and flowers inside you like a carefully pruned rose. Love is joy. Those who love, no matter what indignities, what burdens they carry, are always full of joy.” – from Recipes for a Perfect Marriage, p. 281
I read a great article recently. In it, the author highlighted some “love myths” that we’ve all heard:
- If you do experience doubt, he or she is not “The One.” You must have gotten something wrong as we all know that doubt means don’t.
- Love is a feeling characterized by butterflies and skipped heartbeats. If you don’t have those feelings or if they fade away, something is terribly wrong and it’s time to leave because clearly you’re no longer in love.
Her replies to these myths:
- Doubt is a sign that you’re an introspective, thoughtful, intelligent person considering making a lifetime commitment. As Bertrand Russell said, “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are so confident while the intelligent are full of doubt.” And with a bit more softness Tara Brach says, “Like investigation, healthy doubt arises from the urge to know what is true — it challenges assumptions or the status quo in service of healing and freedom. In contrast, unhealthy doubt arises from fear or aversion, and it questions one’s own basic potential or worth, or the value of another.”
- …love is not only a feeling; it’s a choice, a commitment, and an intention. When you commit to learning about what it means to give and receive love in an intimate way, you will…experience the feelings that we normally associate with love.
Thanks to everyone for their input. Please leave a comment if you have any more thoughts!