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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