Monday, May 25, 2015


What the heck is love anyway?
 
And who’s qualified to define it?

Is it intellectual? Emotional? Physical?

Love is something we have a hard time defining, but like the old Supreme Court Justice once said about pornography, “You know it when you see it.”

Love isn’t one-size-fits-all. One of the reasons it’s so hard to define is because there are many kinds of love. You don’t love your dog the same way you love your husband, or your best friend, or an admired colleague, or your country, or your neighborhood, or your house, or your favorite shoes.

My thesaurus has hundreds of synonyms for love, too many.

One loves different things and different beings for different reasons. One thing we do know: There’s never too much of it.
 
I was told more than once that love is its own reward. It’s a selfish emotion when you analyze it. You love because it makes you feel so good, whole and virtuous. True love is not sacrificing the self for someone or something. You love because you want to, not because you have to or are obligated to.

Love is addictive. That’s why some people avoid it. They’re afraid they won’t be in control of the addiction.

I remember many years ago, trying to explain to one of my young sons why it was possible I could love his brother as much as I loved him. His brother was often in some sort of trouble of his own making. I’m still not sure after all these years if he understood my love was not rationed or rewarded based on good behavior.

One of the best definitions of love came from the mouth of my five-year-old grandson: “Love is a dance party in your heart.”

How do you define love?

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22 comments:

  1. I can't really define love, but it provides life's highest highs and its lowest lows. I also know I'd hate to travel through life without it!

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    1. It's still worth it though, isn't it, Lynn?

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  2. My father gave me what I thought was a rather charming description of the "feeling of love." He said, "When a couple feels that wonderful sensation of mutual attraction, it means there is a baby up in heaven wishing to be born."

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  3. Patty - you compared pornography and love right off the bat. Gotta hand it to you girl.............I know, I know, you weren't REALLY defining love that way.

    Love - it's what you feel when a dream comes true. Meeting the man you can't live without. Seeing your child within seconds of birth. Spending the last hours with a parent as they breathe their last and the angels take them.

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  4. Perhaps when you care more about someone else's happiness, dreams, good health, etc. than your own. These all ring especially true when it comes to the love of your child (no matter their age!). :)

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    1. Good answer, Marie. The thing is, all these answers are correct.

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  5. Love is all giving and forgiving - love is everything.

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  6. It may not be everything, Nancy, but it's certainly the most important thing in this life.

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  7. You know how people love shiny things like crystals and snowflakes and diamonds and glitter? They all mirror the brilliant love we have inside. When someone sees your glittering self, and you see theirs, that is falling love, in all ways parent/child, child/pet, friend/friend and partner/partner.

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  8. Deeply caring for another person's wellbeing and wanting the absolute best for them. The attraction to your favorite colors, animals, and things that make us smile and feel all warm inside. That wonderful feeling inside we want to grasp onto and will it to last a lifetime.

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    1. And it will, if you hang on hard enough.

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  9. Love is joy. Tipping my hat to dear Victor's quote.

    “Life's great happiness is to be convinced we are loved.”
    ― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

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    1. What else really matters? Our most important freedom is The Pursuit of Happiness. The reward is finding it.

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  10. Now there's a question, Patty! And what 'lovely' answers :-) All are true, of course, for love is the best of us in every possible way....

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    1. I agree, love requires us to be our best, but even when we fall short now and then we can get away with it, thanks to the ones who love us.

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  11. Beautifully said, Patty, and that's why it's the best of us :-)

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  12. Love is emotional, but it creates a physical response. To me, true love is accepting someone for who they are. That goes for husbands, wives and lovers or family and friends. Love is unconditional.

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  13. That is the true test, Joanne. If the goal is to change someone to meet our specific criteria, the battle is already lost.

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