what is love ???
Poets, authors, artists, philosophers, scientists and anthropologists have tried to define love for centuries. Love is one of the few subjects that has troubled, intrigued and fascinated everyone.
Lisa Hoffman put it beautifully “Love is like pi natural, irrational and very important.”
The Movie Love and Sex has a wonderful quote on love: “Love is ecstasy and agony, freedom and imprisonment, belonging and loneliness.”
Love is the quintessential emotion of human existence. Few things in life are capable of causing as much joy or as much anguish as love. Love is what holds you together when life tears you apart. Love is amongst the few things in the world that makes life worth living. It is one of the most strongest emotion that a human being is capable of feeling. Love is when other person’s happiness, other person’s dreams, other person’s aspirations, other person’s problems become your own. There is no separation between you and the other person. Love is when you see someone’s face and instantly know what they are feeling. There is this telepathic connection that binds all the people that are in love. Love is the foundation of any happy relationship.
I think Robert Heinlein put it beautifully “Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”
It seems to be only rational thing left in the universe. True love is attachment without the need of possession. Love is that special feeling in your gut, love is when you can feel your own heart beating on the sight of your lover. Love is when you spend all your time thinking about that person. Love is when you will travel all over the globe just to get a glimpse of the person you love. Love is when you stare at your smartphone all day long hoping that the person that you love will send a message that says that the person is doing okay. True love is always selfless and does not demand reciprocation from the other person.
Scientists have often defined love as a chemical imbalance that makes you feel an emotional high, exhilaration, passion and elation when you and the person that you love are together. Dr Helen Fischer in this wonderful TED Talk explains the evolution of love, it’s biochemical foundations and it’s social importance:
I think Bob Marley put it beautifully:
“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.”
Neil Gaiman wrote a wonderful passage on how love makes you vulnerable:
“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life…You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like ‘maybe we should be just friends’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.”
Brene Brown wrote this wonderful passage on love:
“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.
Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.
Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.”