What is it? Do any of us really know? I have been in and out of love numerous times and I would hardly call myself an expert. Quite frankly, I wouldn´t really trust someone who would call himself or herself an expert. How can anyone be an expert on something that is experienced on so many different levels and is experienced differently by everybody? I would venture to guess that no two people experience love in the same way. We have common behaviors and feelings, yes. But the actual experience? I doubt it.
Let´s take for example the overly used, widely misunderstood term “unconditional love.” Aside from the bond between parent and child, I really don´t think that this exists. Hold off on your hate mail until you hear me out! Have you ever truly loved someone unconditionally? We are living in the human condition, with human fallibility, human emotion, ego and needs. We don´t love unconditionally when it comes to romantic relationships. For example, you love your partner on the condition that they treat you kindly, that they are faithful, that they don´t run off with your money and your car and take your best friend with them. Am I right? Those are conditions. There is nothing wrong with it. Love should be conditional in regards to relationships. Of course you can always love someone as a sentient being but then we are venturing out of the realm of the romantic relationship and headed into spirituality.
So what is love? How do we know when we are experiencing true love and not just a deeper level of lust? When chemicals enter into the equation, it can become very convoluted indeed. When she kisses you on the neck and you feel the fire start from the tips of your toes and radiate to the top of your head, making pit stops in highly sensitive areas along the way, does that mean love? When you can´t stop thinking about him and it is affecting your everyday life and you are bumping into walls and only hearing bits and pieces of the conversations you are involved in, is that love? Could be. Could be not.
Love is a basic human need. To love and to be loved. We are always on a quest for love: to give and to receive. We want nothing more than to be and feel loved by someone else. But is there truly that “one love” out there for all of us? I don´t think so. Not for everybody. I think that some people are meant to experience love on many different levels throughout their lives and with that, the pain and heartbreak that goes along with it. Yes, some do find that “Soulmate” (another overly-used and grossly misunderstood term, in my opinion) and stay with that person forever. Bless them. I would like to find that for myself one day. But I don´t know if it is in my cards. I may be one of those destined to learn about love on as many levels as I possibly can in my lifetime.
Someone once summed it for me quite beautifully. He said, “Love is unconditional understanding.” I like that. It makes sense to me.
What types of love have you experienced? Let´s talk about it.