Today, we use the word ‘love’ quite ambiguously. Everywhere we see, the word is being thrown around and caught by people who don’t even understand the meaning of it. A mere four letter word has become the basis of a long term commitment, such as marriage while on the other hand, we rather indifferently sign our emails with the same four letter word giving no real thought to the core of what the word entails. But Are We Explaining Love the Right Way?
The majority of us have become monotonous in the way we perceive love, display love and feel love. Everyday is a new day where we spew out the word with no real emotion behind it; stoic and totally unconcerned about the effect it might have on the listener. The sad part, however, is that most of the time, even the listener doesn’t actually know what the word means.
This brings me to raise the question whether the word ‘love’ is being explained the right way? Are we perceiving the word as it is supposed to be perceived? And are we displaying it the way it is supposed to be displayed? Are we even feeling the emotion the way it is supposed to be felt?
The answer could be anywhere from ‘no’ to ‘I don’t know’ but it can most definitely not be ‘yes’.
Is Love Being Explained the Right Way?
I do not think that love is being explained the right way to the younger generations. The depth that the word used to hold for us in the past has been lost somewhere among the chaos and whirlwind of life.
The word that we used to keep specific for some people in the past, the word that we would not use in vain fearing the repercussions of using such a sacred word without reason, the word which used to represent the highest level of affection and respect one felt for an individual is now being used as a meaningless term.
What is Love?
People have attempted to describe the word in various ways. Science declares that love is an emotion that arises with a release of certain chemicals within the human body. A combination of estrogen, testosterone and other hormones comprise the part of love that arouses lust while attraction is aroused with a release of serotonin, dopamine and adrenaline.
Generally, people define it as a feeling of warmth, comfort, protectiveness, affection, respect and a strong will to ‘do anything’ for the person one loves.
My take on love is that it is much more than just an emotion that incites protectiveness, comfort and warmth. My theory may sound crazy but I believe love is an action more than it is a feeling.
Answer this for me: What is the height of your love? Do you have a strong feeling that you could do anything for the person you love?
Do you think about your parents and feel like you would do anything to please them?
Imagine your child is in danger, would you not do anything and everything to save his life?
Is that not love? I believe that’s really what love is all about.
They do say actions speak louder than words, don’t they?
Would the word still be thrown around so carelessly if it were made a condition to prove your love to the other person through your actions? I suppose not.
I believe that love is when you are ready to do something for someone you would never even think of doing for people who you’re not in love with.
Today’s Unhealthy ‘Love’
Today, we refer to all kinds of feelings of affection as ‘love’ whether it’s a familial love or the love among friends and even self love.
I wonder if the love we witness today is the right kind of love? Too often, I have seen love being exploited to justify the depraved mindsets and actions of people who use love as a threat, a weapon; a leash to keep another person in the palm of their hands.
I have heard of women chained within abusive relationships, not being allowed to leave a doomed marriage by their parents and their families for the love of their children. They’re enjoined to think about the welfare of their children, conditioned to ignore their own mental and physical well-being and forced to remain in unhealthy marriages for the sake of love.
Why do they not educate them about the true values of love? Why are they not taught about self love? You cannot love another before loving yourself, after all.
Are we going to ignore the daughters who are confined to their homes in the name of care and protection? I’ve heard this story too often. Young girls are being trained to believe that their parents are ‘protecting’ them by not letting them go to schools and by not letting them learn how to survive in social settings.
Are protection and care worth putting their future at risk? Is it worth keeping them ignorant to basic education and etiquettes of social life?
Toxic friendships are another form of unhealthy love. Too many people tend to put up with toxic people around them for the fear of being lonely.
‘He loves me,’ I’ve heard women say as they continue to remain with men who have anger issues, who take out their psychological frustrations on their significant others by translating their personal traumas into violence.
Why do they stay with them? Why do they not leave the first time it happens? Because they lack education about self love — the first lesson of the subject of ‘love’. One half hearted apology is all it takes for them to come back to their abusive partners. Why? Because, to them, love has been defined the wrong way.
All their lives, they have been conditioned to believe that love is ‘I love you’ and not ‘I love myself and I would do anything to keep my sanity even if it means leaving you.’
Love: An Action More Than a Feeling
So I come to my point again; love is an action more than it is a feeling.
How so? Well, you cannot just let yourself fall for the mere ‘I love you’, because it is disrespectful to yourself and your self worth. Let them prove they deserve you and your respect. Let them prove through their actions that they really do love you even if it’s your parents and siblings that are the ones exploiting such a sacred emotion.
Put yourself first, identify your worth and let others know as well. Create boundaries and make it clear that they are not to be crossed. Be headstrong and let self love trump all else because if you do not love yourself, are you even eligible to love and care for another?
…And that is love explained the right way.
// Are We Explaining Love the Right Way?