Thursday, May 17, 2012

What is love? Rewrite

I recently revisited a writing I posted January 30, 2006, where I wrote on this subject: What is love? As I was reading it, I began to smile, reflecting on my life now. When I answered this question 6 years ago, I wasn't in love, nor had I ever experienced it, but the picture of love was so vivid to me. I knew exactly what it was suppose to look like. I knew exactly what it was suppose to feel like, but at the same time, I had absolutely no idea what I was talking about.

A lot has happened since then. I went to grad school, quit 2 jobs, was terminated from another, worked for myself, dated a few jerks, hurt some feelings, got a couple cold shoulders, even gained a bitter male enemy, but ultimately, I've learned first hand what love really is.

Here's what I said in 2006, and how I feel in 2012.

"Love is the ability to tolerate someone regardless of what they do. Being about to put up with someone's imperfections - be it their stank feet, or the fact that they snore - is a sign of sincere love. If you don't love some one, you're not going to put up with stuff like that. But if you love them, it's not a big deal, and if it is, you will address it with honest and kindness, without being rough or hard, because when you love some one, you don't want to hurt them or cause them pain, but you care just as much about their well-being as you do your own. So instead of saying "DAYUM yo breath stank," you'll offer them a breath mint, and if the problem persists, you take them to the dentist. lol!"

If it were only as simple as putting up with stank feet or snoring. There is almost no surface to reality's imperfections, that's just how deep they get. Something as innocent as a bit of jealousy - which is often thought to be mildly cute in the beginning - can stem from unhealed wounds of cheating and lead to a controlling and argumentative relationship. Something as simple as building trust, although not always simple, can have roots seeded deeply in failed former relationships that have fostered a spirit of unforgiveness. Selfish. Manipulative. Poor communication skills. Demanding. Needy. These are the imperfections that reality presents, not stank breath or snoring. No one is a perfect person, but when you find true love, you'll find the person FOR YOU, flaws (imperfections) and all. And if they love you as much as you love them, the two of you will be able to work together to deal with (not put up with) those imperfections.

"Now, there is "loving" some one, and there is being "in love" with some one. You can love some one with out being IN love with them, just as you love your mother, best friend, or pet. But you cannot be IN love with some one without loving them. If you're truly IN love with some one, when things fall apart, you will still love them, because when you're IN love with some one, you LOVE them unconditionally, no matter what. Even if he cheats, even if she lies, you still love that person and you still want to be with them."

Hol' up. Wait a min. Pause. Say WHAT now? LOL Only God can love unconditionally. Unconditional, by definition, means not limited by conditions. We, as humans, have conditions, mainly death. I can love you til I die, but I cannot love you unconditionally. And let me add that if he continues to cheat, and she continues to lie, it's ok to still love that person and still want to be with them, but you just might need to love yourself a little bit more and realize we can't always have what we want when we want it.

"If you find that you're no longer IN love with some one, and you have no feelings whatsoever - you don't want to talk to them, don't want to see them, don't care if they live or die - then you were never truly IN love with that person. This is called infatuation. When you are infatuated, you have little to no control over your emotions. Your emotions control the relationship. Although this is easily mistaken for love, it isn't love. While being IN love involves a certain degree of infatuation, being IN love with some one means your feelings and emotions are REASONABLE."

I use to think that the good life was built upon ones ability to make good choices - those that are both sound and reasonable. But I've come to find that in no matter how sound and reasonable your decisions are, you are still bound to have a run it with some of the "bad" in live. With love in particular, it's way too easy to loose your inhibitions, omit all logic, and just say, do, and act in ways that are just plain old unreasonable. 

"Your REASON rules your EMOTIONS instead of your emotions controlling the relationship."

Experience has confirmed my belief that you cannot allow your emotions to control your relationship. Emotions are natural, instinctive responses to one's circumstances or mood. When you allow your emotions to control your relationship, the relationship endures tremendous stress each time you exhibit unfavorable emotions such as fear, jealousy, indifference, worry, doubt, or sadness. Love goes beyond that. When you truly love some one, you love them beyond your current mood or circumstance. You love them beyond your fear, jealousy, indifference, worry, doubt, or sadness. 

"Real love brings out the best in you. It's exciting, and it causes an eagerness to grow and improve. It gives you a greater sense of...I don't You start thinking about the future, possibly saving. Of course there is much more to being in love. There's admiration and a high level of respect. There's the best-friend factor. There's devotion and affection. And so much more. 

There's also the disagreements, and the compromise. The getting on of nerves and the needing of space. But when you find someone who's worth all that and more, you can step back and say, "This is love."

No comments:

Post a Comment