Sunday, November 29, 2015

Four Definitions of Love

Everywhere I look, people are confused about "love" but as I grow older and wiser, the true meaning becomes more and more clear to me. So today I thought I'd clarify some confusions about love by sharing the four main types of love that people talk about. You can read about them and decide for yourself which love you are feeling and which kind of love is worth fighting for.

There is the love of infatuation. This is what some call a genetic trick of the mind to get us to spread more sperm. It is the love that poets write about the most because poets write about what they don't understand. This is a blinding, obsessive love that we have no control over. It is not evolutionary. It rules our subconscious and lower senses and it confuses us completely. It doesn't make the world go round but it does help propagate the species. It is like a fairy serum that keeps us drunk to reality. Infatuation is something we all go through, a right of passage that could lead to either healthy, genuine love; or narcissistic love. Its something that just happens, something many wish would happen to them. Often, it happens at the wrong time with the wrong person.

There is narcissistic love. This love makes us think that another person is an extension of ourselves. We extend our ego to them and believe that anything they do is done to us. Co-dependent love is the same as naracissitic love because it comes from insecurity and lack of having a sense of a self of our own. When one believes that his only role is to serve another, that he is only good for providing for his lover or being his house wife or husband, he is not admitting that there is more to him than a role he plays for her. When one expects the other person to be there for her only and to be a servant, she is basically saying that she is not whole if he is not identifying himself with her. One becomes so obsessed with filling a role, that he feels trapped and ceases to grow. There is a lingering feeling that something is missing. This is the love of people who suffocate one another and people who stalk one another. This is the love of people who kill one another out of jealousy. A narcissistic lover can't be happy if there isn't someone there to constantly feed his ego. A narcissistic lover can't empathize with her lover or think selflessly about what is best for her lover because she is too wrapped up in her own needs. This kind of love does not make the world go round. It is a prison, a selfish love that destroys the self and the self of the other.

There is genuine, committed love. This is when love ceases to be a noun and starts to become a verb. Love is something one does, not something one feels. This is when one looks at another person and decides to be there for him, through thick or thin not because one has to but because one wants to. This is a love of choice, not something that just happens. Genuine love is also respect, sacrifice and compassion. One looks at another and wants her to be the best person she can be, not just for him but for her sake, for the sake of how she will serve her family and society. We know that love can not grow if we do not evolve with it. We provide attention, nurturing and time as one does when one tends to a garden so it can grow in a healthy way. We do not see this nurturing as a chore but as a rewarding meditation and an act of joy. In doing this, the relationship grows spiritually. This kind of love creates healthy bonds, healthy children and healthy communities. It takes a strong self to show this kind of love because commitment takes risk. One knows she could lose the other at any moment but she decides to love him anyway and allow him to be free to be who he is. Putting one's narcissistic needs aside requires him to be a better person so he evolves as a result. Because there is freedom to be who one is and enough maturity for development, one feels constantly fulfilled and happy. This kind of love helps the world go round because the time one puts into it brings its own reward. It develops maturity, wisdom and growth.

There is universal, spiritual love. This is when one looks at all things deeply and with respect and kindness. This love is the philosophy of people like Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Ghandi. This love branches out to all people equally and has no prejudice. This kind of love successfully won the civil rights movement, has ended the cycle of violence, has rescued endangered animals and has inspired communities to help others who are in need. This love warms the heart and elevates the soul. This is the love of forgiveness. This is a love we should all strive towards. Not only does it make the world go round, it creates positive evolutions and higher states of awareness. It is the key to enlightenment and the true bliss we think we want when we are hit with love of infatuation, only spiritual love is not an illusion but universal truth, a profound realization and the highest goal of the soul. Like, committed love, it takes work, tending and commitment. It is something we do to make the world a better place, not something we are entitled to. This love is what keeps us from destroying each other as a species

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