What is Love ?

Before my Uncle Passed away in June of 2009, I had never met a man that loved a woman so much as he did my aunt. As a child I had always admired the type of man that he was. From the way he walked, to the way he talked. The way he treated my Aunt was like no other. The way he treated me, his niece. See, he never had any children, but always treated his nieces like the queens and princesses we were. (I was always told that I was his favorite.) Anyway, They had been married for over 40 years, since they were 20 years old, up until his untimely death. I don’t know how my Aunt did it because he was her everything and we all knew it.

After his death, it got me to thinking, “What is love” “What is the real definition of love ? How do you know you are in love ? What types of love are there ? Who defines what love really is? These are questions I have asked myself time after time again as well.

Of course, I had thought I was “in love” a couple of times, had love for a person or two, but … what exactly is it.

Whatever it is, I want what they had….

Don’t let the word love define your LOVE

Love is the most powerful emotion a human being can experience. The strange thing is, that almost nobody knows what love is. Why is it so difficult to find love? That is easy to understand, if you know that the word “love” is not the same as one’s feeling of love.

The word “love” is used and abused for the expression of different sets of feelings.

The word love is used as an expression of affection towards someone else (I love you) but it also expresses pleasure (I love chocolate). To make it a little more complicated, the word “love” also expresses a human virtue that is based on compassion, affection and kindness. This is a state of being, that has nothing to do, with something or someone outside yourself. This is the purest form of Love.

The ancient Greek used 7 words to define the different states of love:

Storge: natural affection, the love you share with your family.

Philia: the love that you have for friends.

Eros: sexual and erotic desire kind of love (positive or negative)

Agape: this is the unconditional love, or divine love

Ludus: this is playful love, like childish love or flirting.

Pragma: long standing love. The love in a married couple.

Philautia: the love of the self (negative or positive)

These are 7 different kind of feelings. The love you feel for your partner is not the same as the love you feel for your mother. Even the love for your partner changes in time. You feel different emotions for different situations and people.

This confusion is not only the case while 2 people are talking, your own brain does not get it.

What you feel is controlled by the right side of your brain and language is controlled by your left side. If you use the word “love” 10 times a day with different situations, it loses power. Your left part or your brain does not get fully activated when you really mean “I love you” and want to get exited about it. 50% of your brain is a lot.

The first thing that you need to do is learn the differences of the (7) states of love. Not the words, but how they feel. It is easy if you recognize the words. It is basic training. Awareness, that is the secret to love.

Love is a practice, it is not something you find or don’t find. You can practice love for the rest of your life.

Don’t abuse the word love. Use other words where you are not addressing emotion towards other people.

Example: I love chocolate, becomes: I enjoy chocolate. I love my job, becomes: I have passion for what I do.

Enjoying, loving and passion are 3 different emotions. It is essential to learn (again) the true meaning of words, not merely to communicate with someone else, but also so learn to experience them. Words are very powerful instruments. Not only to communicate with others, but also with your self. The words you use, creates awareness and eventually your reality.

If you use words wisely, you can learn to recognize what kind of love you are feeling, and enjoy the different kinds of love. With one person of different ones.

If you don’t know how to find love within you, you will never find it outside you.

Words are agreements to express ideas or feelings. The meaning of words is not absolute, it is always a personal interpretation. The group of feelings associated with the word “love” is difficult to understand, and even more difficult to express to other person. Let’s put is this way: it is impossible with only one word.

With the creation of a word, you can give it a special meaning. Some lovers create words to express what they feel to each other. A word creates and agreement or memories. This moment can be repeated when you use that word or when you think about it.

In other languages exist words, related to love, that expresses different situations that don’t have a translation to English. When you know this words, you recognize these feelings. You get more grip in what you are experiencing.

Beautiful words in other languages:

Yuanfen (Chinese): A love relationship that has been established by lot, based on principles of Chinese culture.

Mamihlapinatapei (Yaghan): A look that without words is shared by two people who want to initiate something, but neither start.

Cafuné (Brazilian Portugees): Slowly stroking your fingers through someone else’s hair.

Retrouvailles (France): The happiness of seeing someone again after a long time.

La Douleur Exquise (France): The enormous pain in your heart when you desire someone you cannot have.

Ya’aburnee (Arabic): The hope that you will die earlier than the other, so you don’t need to live without the other.

Forelsket (Nordic): The euphoria you feel when you fall in love for the first time.

Saudade (Portugees): The feeling of longing for someone you love, but is far away.

These “moments” are so important in other cultures that they have words to express them. My point is, don’t use just one word to define your love. Learn the “words” and recognize them when you are living them.

With love, you get what you put in

Love is an emotion in action. You can learn how to feel and cultivate your love… First learn and know the different situations of love. Learn how to recognize them when you are feeling them. Then you go and share your love with others.

Love between 2 people can only begin if the interaction is based on truth, trust and respect. That is something you start giving. This is essential to grown mutual love between 2 individuals. If the other person gives you what you give, then you start feeling love for each other and it can grow…

It is not difficult to understand love, once you know how love works.

It is very easy to fall in love with someone. The difficulty is to stay in love. But if it is difficult to stay in love, that means, that it is not the love of your life. It is a love experience. Love is always beautiful, if it is not beautiful, it is not love. Time to move on. Sometimes, love just fades away. It is better to move on when you don’t feel anything, then when you feel the opposite of love.

Finding your loved one or a relationship…

If you want to find the love of your life, start being aware of your use of the word love. Saying and thinking I want to find the love of my life and not I want a relationship is fundamental. You find what you are looking for.

“Being in a relationship” is a marketing term invented in magazines. Everyone that is not single is in a relationship. To address a large group of people it is perfect, but it is to vague to define your personal situation.

The only important question for you should be: “Am I experiencing love or not?”

But still, we use the same word. It is easy to understand that a confusion is easy made while communicating. I can say “I love you” to two different people (and mean it), but I am actually feeling in a different way.

-A

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