What is Love?
“What is love? ” Answering the first question Parisa asks in her video is turning out to be more difficult than I thought it would be. The first thing that came to mind is that “love” is a concept. It’s not like “cat.” I get a clear image in my mind when I use the latter word. The color and size of the cat is unimportant, but I can see an animal that is shaped in a certain way and has definite physical characteristics. I don’t see such an image when I use words like “love” or “happiness.”
That means “love” doesn’t exist as a physical entity. It is not “out there,” in the external world. It exists in me which means I get to decide what it is. Often, when I’m experiencing love, when I’m feeling it—we feel love, don’t we?—it’s in relation to some other person. If I feel love towards another, this means I want to spend time with that person. I want to be with him or her, in the deepest sense of what it means to be “with” someone. I want to know all about him or her. I want to know the other’s past, present, and future. Often, when I’m with a person I love, I feel happiness. I guess that explains why I keep wanting to pair those terms. The first seems to cause the second.
How Do I Express Love?
I think showing love is about sharing myself with another person. (I suppose I can love a thing. I’m not certain about the possibility of loving a thing in the same way I can love another human. I need to spend more time thinking about this.) I can certainly share myself with another person. Sharing is opening myself up to that person. (Opening myself up means I am making myself somewhat transparent and vulnerable.) Sharing myself means turning myself towards that person in the way a flower keeps turning towards the sun throughout the day. Love feeds me, but I can’t simply “consume” the person whom I love. Love feeds me and makes me want to “feed” the person I love. Love is the profoundest form of giving. Unrequited love causes the deepest sort of pain.
And what about you? When you hear the word love, what do you think of?