The word love today has lost all meaning because it is misused, even instrumentalize. Think of the military who want to pass off the idea that “for love of country” it is right to wage war. Or religions where showing love toward a certain God means distorting oneself by limiting or avoiding physical contact. Some fathers or mothers beat their children for love, and some even take their own lives, for love.
Is this love? No, it is just the consequence of minds conditioned by man-made dogmas and rules. So what really is love?
What is love?
Before attempting to explain love, explain not define, it is important to understand why grasping the deep meaning is so important. Embedded in love is the secret to overcoming all of life’s problems and difficulties. Does this seem like overkill? Well it is not, and now I will try to explain it.
Every human being continuously and desperately seeks love simply because he or she needs it. As children we seek that of our parents, as teenagers that of our group, as adults that of those we have chosen as our life partner, and as elderly that of our caregivers.
At different stages of life we give love different forms and definitions that can be attention, understanding, approval, complicity, physical contact, care or charity. A child seeks the attention of the parent, a teenager the approval of the group, two lovers complicity, co-workers attention, and the elderly care. If you reflect on it you will observe that at bottom it is always about love, in different forms of course, but still love.
This quest, however, happens in the wrong way. The society in which we live pushes us to believe that love is something that must be conquered, and our actions prove it. The competition we are taught in school, careerism in the workplace, appearing through appearance, flaunting what we possess and in some cases even charity are the actions we take thinking that they will attract the love of others.
Never was the claim more mistaken; love is not that, it cannot be obtained. Love is simply a state in which one can choose to be, because it is not an entity external to us, but simply a feeling. When you contemplate a beautiful sunset you feel love because what you see triggers wonderful emotions in you, but you have to be ready to receive them. If you are distracted or angry, if you do not stop to observe the beauty or simply sad, you will feel nothing and then, although the situation is perfect, there will be no love. And the same thing happens in front of a painting, when you sense the pungent smell of resin in the woods, while experiencing a friendship or helping a person. You can feel love even in front of a colleague who mistreats you, feeling compassion for his restlessness generated by the stress of a life he detests. Love depends on you, on your predisposition to feel it. It is you who can decide whether to be love or not, in any situation.
This means that you are unlikely to find the love you so desperately seek if you continually expect others to give it to you. Even if you found the person who loves you most, the perfect job, the dream family, the place or life you longed for, if you are not ready to receive all of it, you will feel nothing and will always be unhappy. You can only feel love if you are balanced and at peace with yourself, that is, if you can welcome without prejudice and superstructure all that happens. It is not easy to immerse yourself in this state of stillness that exists only in the present moment, but you will agree with me that it is the answer to many of our daily problems, which are often generated by our inability to be love.