Enigma of Love

What is Love? A four lettered word, simple enough to read, but so hard to understand. Many great people have fallen in its name, several have gone mad searching for it, and more than a few have found contentment once they experienced it. But what is it? This thing that so many yearns for, believes they have found it, only for it to elude them.

Is it physical? Material love? A feeling? An emotion? It’s so easy to think about love, to talk about love, to wish for love. But it’s not always easy to recognize it, even when we hold it in our hands. How do you know it is love? Is there some basis of measurement, a chemical reaction that occurs when you are in love? How do you know it’s not just admiration, or a fleeting crush?

 

“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are.

Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.”

Dr. Iannis
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

by Louis de Bernières

 

Love isn’t something that can be explained in simple words. Sometimes, it feels like the best way to explain it, is to express it. Not in spoken or written words, but in actions, like simple hugs. It is a feeling that up till now, I have trouble understanding. Sure it makes you feel protective and proud of someone, you feel jealous about all the other people who interact with them, but what makes that different from just being possessive of something you own? Like being proud of a new gadget you have, something you’d like to parade around the world, but not really understanding the true value it has?

But then again, how do you know if it is really love? If it can be explained by hugs, then do you love everyone you hug? How then do you differentiate familial love from friendly love to love-love?

 

 

Is it LOVE? Or is it DOVE? How do you know it’s not just some strong feelings, like a craze, that will fade when it tides over? How do you know that it’s just not an obsession, or just lust?

Sometimes we feel that we are so in love, we could do anything for that special person. But if that’s the case, what different are we from a mother who is willing to do anything for her children? Is love just another term, something that means we grow protective and nurturing?

 

 

So, say you are in love, why does it hurt so much when something goes wrong? Sometimes, there will always be the instance where we think we are “so in love” with someone, but then something happens and it all falls apart. Then we go shut ourselves down in some remote corner of our world, being mean to everyone, thinking that it was all our fault. But is it? Or are we just in love with the idea of them?

 

“People always fall in love with the most perfect aspects of each other’s personalities. Who wouldn’t? Anybody can love the most wonderful parts of another person. But that’s not the clever trick. The really clever trick is this: Can you accept the flaws? Can you look at your partner’s faults honestly and say, ‘I can work around that. I can make something out of it.’? Because the good stuff is always going to be there, and it’s always going to pretty and sparkly, but the crap underneath can ruin you.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert,
Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage

“In desperate love, we always invent the characters of our partners, demanding they be what we need of them, and then feeling devastated when they refuse to perform the role we created in the first place.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert,
Eat, Pray, Love

 

Love is really something that has presented great mysteries to the world. Something so simple, yet so complex at the same time. Something that I already have, yet I keep looking elsewhere for.

 

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