What is Love? This is a question that I am sure everyone has wrestled with in his or her lifetime. I have always questioned it. My mother loved me I know, but her love was very needy and thus it was smothering for me and for my two brothers. We recognised that for her, this was her expression of love, but for myself it was not what I wanted from her and it was not what I felt ‘love’ meant to me. So what did it mean?
I ‘fell in love’ in the usual romantic way I suppose, but for me the man who became my husband was for always. There was no idea of this not working and I understood very clearly that marriage was a commitment to which I would devote my life. By that I simply mean it was through good times and bad times and it was for me and for my husband to work through those patches. Our parents had not been happily married so we knew what we did not want and that it was for us to work out for ourselves what a loving relationship meant.
I understand now much more about what love is. Over the past seventeen years I have attended many presentations where the aspects of love have been explained in a way that has made perfect sense to me.
Love is made up of five elements: stillness, harmony, truth, responsibility and joy. The first of these is stillness – yes that is right – stillness. Have you ever experienced stillness?
I had not until quite recently. It is to be without any tension in one’s body at all and no mind chatter. When one can achieve this there is harmony in one’s body – that is the second element. When one is harmonious others feel that and it creates harmony in the home.
The third element is truth. This is the truth about oneself first, looking at whether one is really still and harmonious or if there are issues that are blocking this from happening. Then one must be truthful with one’s partner about one’s own state of being and also about theirs. This can be difficult because how do you tell someone they are behaving badly? I find it works if one says, “That was not a very loving way to say or do that particular thing,” whatever it may be. Usually my husband will accept that, as will I when he says it to me!
The above highlights the responsibility that comes with love. It is our responsibility how we behave but it is also our responsibility to speak up if others are not behaving in a loving way – without proselytising in any way, but simply speaking up. There are too many people who withdraw from this responsibility, but life on Earth will not change until we all accept that we do have a role to play and that role is a responsible one.
Joy is the final element that makes up the full quality that is expressed by the word love. Joy is a deep feeling that everything is as it should be in one’s life. It is not a 'Wow!' feeling at all, it is grace and serenity and above all wellbeing in oneself and with all others. With all these elements united into the word LOVE one can see how much this word has been denigrated in our society.
If love is brought into the equation of sex, then and only then, can it be about' making love'.
There should be tenderness and joy in the sexual union. Without that it is nothing more than a physical sensation without any depth to it at all, which is why people choose pornography as a poor substitute for love. Would it not be beautiful for young people to be taught about the beauty of making love?
Rowena P., Australia