November 16, 2008

What is love?

Filed under: Essays — unwriter1 @ 12:11 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I have suffered a lifetime of failed relationships yet in all of that I’ve learned a few things. My life, in terms of love is a shambles but hopefully those reading this can glean some thread of hope for themselves. I have been splintered and almost destroyed, yet I have retained the most important parts of life. I have those that will forever occupy my heart and I’ve gained a small bit of ability to use my words to help others. Please, draw from this that which may enlighten your life. The one part not mentioned is the love of one’s God. That needs no explanation because it is this love that will ensure your life, your destiny is fulfulled.

What really, is love?

A question with no real answer but do allow me to espouse here momentarily to lay out my thoughts on this most puzzling of seeming paradox. Love, as an emotion comes in several flavors such as:
Family consisting of offspring, parents, grandparents and oft times beyond.
Love of life
Love of self
Love of an inanimate object
Love of animals.
Love of a friend
Love of a mate/girl/boyfriend

The biblical view is; greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends [John 15:13]. True love has no conditions. Flaws and faults are known, but partners help each other see those flaws and help the other overcome or better understand them. If your mate is addicted to alcohol or drugs, do you just walk away? No, usually a true love connection tries to help the other. Love is an abstract condition. There are boundaries. Does love remain if the mate turns out to be a child molester or insists that if you truly love them you’ll kill someone, or as been proven, your own children? This is not love but obsession on the one part and a vendetta on the other. True love does not need illegal acts to be proven. Love exists at many levels but the one guideline that is most crucial is that the other person, or creature is a vital part of ones life. One cannot define love in terms of physical acts alone, nor in terms of words alone. True love is, in all reality, a magnetic force between two animates. True love is putting the needs and desires of another, ahead of yours.

There are many definitions of love all correct, all incomplete. That’s because love is the one and only emotion for which no clinical or general description is possible. It is different for all. I’ll do what little I can with each of the above generalities.

Family love is almost self-descriptive. One is almost grateful since without them, you would not exist and without you, the offspring would not exist. There is within all families, a bond though sometimes tenuous. It is not always visible and it seems sometimes to be a negative type of bond. By this I mean that one can be a member of a family but be or appear to be, the black sheep, the unwanted one. But under all the blackness, there is a love. Love and like are NOT the same thing and this last link is the most definitive.

Parental love is the tie that binds. If a parent/child bond is established early there is then a support system built in. The parent will do all that is possible to give the offspring the best in life that is possible even if that is nothing more than the hugs it takes to remove a hurt. Weaken these bonds or do not allow them to form and you have a house of strangers.

Love of life is ones journey through this world and opens one to new experiences. When the path of destiny becomes the muddy rut of life, it is taken in stride with the lessons learned therein.

Love of self should be obvious but it is the most difficult of all. If you can look in the mirror and not be repulsed you’re on the right track. Self-esteem is the first hurdle to overcome. You can do the scientific approach and realize that life is carbon based and that every human is a diamond in the rough. The more realistic approach is to understand you are not perfect but you have many good qualities. Look not at the negative side, but concentrate on the positive.

Love of an inanimate object doesn’t appear to need to be included in a discussion of love but then why is your grandmother’s brooch put in a special case when in fact it may only have cost her a few pennies? It has no financial value but it does have an intrinsic value to ones heart. Is that any different than one loving life, or yourself? Not really.

Love of animals is not an across the board love. Not all humans find solace in non-human companions. Some call them pets while others call them fur/feather/scaled kids. There develops a mutual love here that is a strong as any one would find with offspring. The animals, if taken care of properly will covet this human and will attach themselves and if possible protect their human counterpart when the need arises.

Love of a friend is one of the most confusing of all loves. It is the same as the love of a mate yet it isn’t. Often it is a deeper love because you do not see or talk to this person on a regular basis. It is this love, above all others, that the absence of contact is the most painful. Thus when contact is lost for a longer than normal time or an argument develops, the remaining partner knows the love of a friend is still there, but worries to a great extent as to what may have happened. This is, granted, an unusual condition, but happens. The bonds of friendship are tight. An argument may bend these bonds but it is unlikely they will break.

Love of a mate/girl/boyfriend is the most esoteric of all loves. It is here where the lines are blurred. With all of the above definitions, it is for a lifetime. We now look at one that is not. No love of a mate, girl/boyfriend is for life. It may be for the remainder of life, but there is a part of life where you and your significant other did not know each other. It’s a small point, but critical. Love of a mate and here the word mate encompasses the boy/girl friend, is unconditional. It does not matter what the other half has in terms of emotional issues or physical issues. That is not what defines the love connection. It is here that the love of a friend is so definite but without the inherent fear factor. It is this love, of all loves that is so driving that it can physically hurt yet physically being hurt in the name of love is not love. Both a friend and a mate can cause a pain like nothing else. In a healthy relationship both sides can and do have dreams and ambitions. Your partner will support you even if he or she does not believe in them. But the mate will also point out the weakness of such dreams only to an extent to either keep it as a dream or an offer of how to strengthen the weak areas.

Both friends and mates are very close to each other to the point that the worlds almost merge. What affects the life of one can have a dramatic affect on the other. A case in point to better explains this; a couple have very tight bonds when a parent or close relative falls ill or dies. The person who’s relative died or became ill is of course affected, but the mate is affected by the loss as well as the well being of their mate.

Love is not a short-term affair. Nor does it involve violence of ANY kind. Let me finish this with a poem.

Over time we have hurt each other
Over time we will continue to hurt each other
Over time we have loved each other
over time we will continue to love each other
Your pain is my pain
my prayers are your prayers
Your time is my time
your love is my love
I am who I am because of you
I do what I do because of me
I am what I am because of you
I am me, that is all I can be
My words are of love
My words sing of love
my actions show of love
my life is of love



  1. […] That needs no explanation because it is this love that will ensure your life, your destiny is fulfulled. What really, is love? A question with no real answer but do allow me to espouse here momentarily to lay out my thoughts on this .. Read more […]

    Pingback by insurancesitesfind » Blog Archive » What is love? « UNWRITER Ron Berry — November 16, 2008 @ 1:15 pm | Reply

  2. You have described love in all of it’s form. I know your heart and I know this was from the deepest core of your soul. It warmed my heart. I know that sharing this someone out there who feel’s like life isn’t worth living will read this and they will find within themselves the true meaning of life and love. I have had that privledge in my life to experience true love, and I pray others would have that same chance.

    Comment by Angie Hartson — November 16, 2008 @ 1:29 pm | Reply

  3. Gutsy and “hearty” post. Thoughtful and well done.

    Comment by Marvin D Wilson — November 16, 2008 @ 3:43 pm | Reply

  4. Beautiful said and certainly from the heart. I hope it serves as a catharsis, Ron, and that your heart (now full of holes like Swiss cheese) will mend itself soon and you’ll be an even better man for it. Your piece brought a lump to my throat as my own memories came floating back.

    Comment by Jean Henry Mead — November 16, 2008 @ 4:01 pm | Reply

  5. Hi Ron,

    This reminds me of the lecture I gave my home and family living students when we had our lesson on love. We used the ‘love ladder’ which came from a reference book I can’t name offhand. It empasized how self-love was the first step and so important to all other relationships.

    Lovely post, Ron, wise words we can all take to heart.

    Best to you,

    Comment by Linda LaRoque — November 16, 2008 @ 4:45 pm | Reply

  6. beautiful Ron. Love is hard to define, there are so many forms of it. The greatest as you have mentioned is the agape love, which is God-like, the highest form. Then love for neighbor, self, mates, family, and eros between a man and a woman ,,, i like what you have done. Perhaps it’s a way to help yourself as well!

    Comment by Melanie Campos — November 16, 2008 @ 4:47 pm | Reply

  7. Great post, Ron. Opening up your own life experiences and emotions helps others to see they are not alone.

    Comment by musebookreviews — November 16, 2008 @ 4:58 pm | Reply

  8. “Love of life
    Love of self
    Love of an inanimate object
    Love of animals.
    Love of a friend
    Love of a mate/girl/boyfriend”

    I think there is an answer to your question, but it’s not in looking for love as coming in flavors or “typologies” as it’s historically been done. Love is love – one thing – and needs to be conceptualized as such. Giving it a different “type” for each thing we direct it to – love of grandmothers, nature, dogs, etc. – to my mind ends up never clearly defining IT at all.

    Comment by Paul Maurice Martin — November 16, 2008 @ 5:35 pm | Reply

  9. Ron, I always did admire your writing style. I am deeply saddened to learn that you feel such pain. Love in all its many forms will always be painful one way or another. But, love is something we all need to nourish us and to make us grow, and even the pain gives us strength.
    I do agree with Paul Martin, love is love, it doesn’t need any defining whatsoever, no categorizing. It is what it is. Embrace it, my friend.

    Comment by Linda Rucker — November 17, 2008 @ 4:05 pm | Reply

  10. Great post and you know I’m praying for you, my friend!!! Remember Mark 11:22 !!!!!

    Comment by Katrina Wampler — November 18, 2008 @ 8:12 am | Reply

  11. Hi!
    I made with photoshop glitter myspace pics.
    have a look at them:
    Thank you 4 your site 😉 xxoxo

    Comment by adhentSwend — December 1, 2008 @ 1:21 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: