What is to love? What does love mean? Welcome back to our small corner of the internet. In today’s article, we will look at some thoughts and ideas about love. Our view will aim a little wider than just the romantic kind, or true love because we should look at the broader concept of it as an emotional state. What is the difference between when you love someone and when you are in love with someone?
Looking at the definition of love from this viewpoint can add understanding and compassion to our lives.
This article is another in the series about the various emotional states we experience and how to deal with the ups and downs of each one. This series is inspired by the work of David R. Hawkins in his book “Letting Go – The Pathway to Surrender”.
In addition, you can find the previous article in the series on Acceptance here, and the next article on Peace here.
Moreover, toward the end of the article, we have included a short FAQ of the most common questions that came up in the research. Hopefully, you can find what you are looking for here today.
Please note that nothing in this article is to be taken as any form of professional or medical advice. The information, ideas, thoughts, and research are provided for edutainment purposes only. That being said let’s head on into the wilds of love.
What is to Love – What is the Meaning of Love?
The dictionary has the following to say, to explain what love means:
- A feeling of strong affection for another
- A quality of dedication to someone else
- An attraction coming from sexual desire
- The tenderness displayed by a couple in a relationship
- A term of endearment when speaking to a loved one.
- Warmth, attachment, enthusiasm, and devotion. (For example to a job or hobby).
- And let’s not forget a zero score in tennis.
Romantic relationships are about hormones, physical attraction, common interests, and companionship. Moreover, on a more instinctual level, there is the need to perpetuate the human species and make sure that evolution proceeds with those fittest to survive. When you fall in love with someone, it may be a fleeting infatuation, or sometimes the other person doesn’t love you back. However, you may find unrequited love in a healthy relationship and develop a closeness and sense of commitment that never changes over time. Whatever your loving relationship is like, you will have inevitable ups and downs together that will test the strength of your relationship.
Subsequently, your relationship might not stand the test of time and you may move on to a new relationship or want to spend time with someone else.
Romantic love can be fleeting. Also, a successful committed relationship with a romantic partner takes work. Above all, your partner gets to see you at your best and your worst. In addition, each partner has their own needs and wants and needs the space to express themselves within the relationship.
Love as a State of Being.
Love as a state of being is infinite and eternal. When you become love, it flows through your heart. When you become love you have overcome the lower emotional states such as:
These lower states of vibration block the flow of universal love.
Love, as a state of being, is unconditional and starts once acceptance has taken place. After acceptance healing and forgiveness clear the way for love to flow and strengthen in your life. Also, love is caring, it protects, uplifts, and cooperates. For example, it shows up as warmth, gratitude, humility, and appreciation. Therefore, all different types of relationships benefit from love.
All of us need to feel loved, this allows you to develop a sense of belonging. Also, it allows you to develop self-esteem and gives you courage enough to let yourself share your thoughts person to person, unconditionally.
What is the Strongest Form of Real Love?
Let’s look at some of the ancient history of love. Fourteen billion years ago, when there was nothing, then a thought combined with an emotion. In a flash, the wonder of creation had begun. The universe burst forth and expanded, as it has continued to do, from the beginning of time, up until the present moment. Therefore, the creative process was the combination of thought and emotion to manifest physical matter. To clarify, the thought was “I am”, and the emotion was infinite love.
Science at one time thought that the space in the universe was a vacuum. However, a vacuum would collapse, as nothing is holding physical matter apart and in place. So what holds everything in place as the universe continues to expand?
Quantum physics tells us that no matter exists on its own. In short, what we see as matter is energy wave vibration. You would be able to see this if you could magnify into matter beyond the particles that make up the atom. For example, at its origin, matter is made up of particles that are waves of energy vibrating at frequency. Different frequencies allow for different densities of matter, so we can have air, water, and even earth and rocks. Most of an atom is empty space, so even wave particles are held in place by something.
This is where you will find the source of eternal, infinite love. Love holds the universe in place and supports us all. Now do you understand the importance of love? It allows the universe to expand. When the time comes that it isn’t going to expand anymore, love will guide it to shrink back to nothing and come to an end. Then we can start the whole adventure over again and have a new experience.
Love is a Feeling and a Choice.
A common question that is asked is whether love is a feeling or a choice. It is important to understand that you choose which feelings you allow to become your habitual behavior. So love is both a feeling and a choice. Your brain has two aspects, an emotional aspect, and a reasoning aspect. The emotional aspect is normally the first to react, sometimes in ways that are inappropriate and unhelpful. Think of times when you reacted emotionally only to regret it later.
The reasoning part of the brain, which separates us from animals, reacts slower than the emotional part of the brain. This part of your brain is the executive management function that reasons and uses logic to solve problems and make decisions as to how you want to live your life.
The emotional part of the brain, if left alone to take control, would have you living in fear, shame, and guilt. When life subsequently becomes too much, the emotional brain may slip into apathy, depression, and anger.
When the reasoning part of the brain takes charge, you start to take more conscious decisions. This can lead to letting go of unpleasant emotions and deciding to move to a more loving and peaceful state of mind. This takes courage and determination, but, with persistence, you will succeed.
Just remember that:
- A thought that lingers, becomes a mood.
- A mood that lingers becomes a habit.
- A habit that lingers becomes a personality type
- A personality type is how you present yourself to the world
How do you choose to feel and present yourself to the world?
What are the 7 Different Types of Love?
According to Greek philosophy, there are seven types of love, these are:
- Eros – Physical love or sexual desire.
- Philia – Friendship, or brotherly love.
- Storge – Family, kin-based love.
- Agape – Universal, transcendent love.
- Ludus – Non-committal, flirting, light-hearted love.
- Pragma – Committed and long-lasting love.
- Philautia – Self-esteem, self-image, self-love.
Looking at these seven classifications of the different aspects of love, it would be appropriate for you to take stock of the different types of relationships you have with different people in your life. For example, which form of love would you associate with each relationship and how does that reflect how you experience it? Furthermore, how can you improve your relationships and better support and encourage the people you are close to?
Love is something that can take many forms. The common denominator is that, in all of these different types of relationships, you are simultaneously:
- A giver and receiver.
- A teacher and a student
- A supporter and supported.
It is only in a loving state of being that you recognize yourself and others as part of the oneness of all things; but just on different journeys through life.
Can a Person Survive Without Love?
As human beings, we all have a basic need to connect and feel that our lives matter. Love is vitally important for you to survive as an individual, as well as for humanity to survive as a whole. Having the support of parents when you are small gives you comfort security and a sense of belonging. In your formative years, you instinctively know that you need the acceptance of others to teach you the appropriate way to live, and the values and rules that you will adopt to give meaning to your existence. So, how you present yourself determines the level of acceptance and lovingness you will have returned to you.
The opposite of love is fear. If you are without love and acceptance of others, as you are, your ego may dominate your thoughts by judging your surroundings to be threatening and making you feel vulnerable. As a result, if you haven’t developed the ability to have loving emotions, or it has been suppressed by your circumstances; fear, guilt, shame, apathy, and depression will be waiting to dominate your thoughts if you allow them to.
Sometimes you find people who have chosen to seclude themselves away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. These people can be either of two types. They may be running away, avoiding, or hiding from life as a result of a lack of acceptance. Alternatively, they may have moved through lovingness to peace and have chosen a more reflective life of solitude. This second type of person does not live without love, being alone does not mean being lonely. By contrast, for them solitude brings contentment.
How do I know if I lack love?
If you lack love around you, you may have low self-esteem, a negative outlook on life, feelings of low self-worth, or even depressive moods. A lack of lovingness in your life from others may affect your thoughts and overall mindset. Your sense of separation from others may increase, leading you to feel lonely or distant from others. If you don’t feel you have lovingness inside you then something else will take the place of that emptiness in your mind. This may be fear, shame, guilt, or some combination of other negative thought patterns about yourself or those around you.
Love gives you connection, compassion, and empathy. If you lack love it is unlikely that you would act in a way that displays these qualities. This in turn may lead to others keeping their distance from you which in turn may lead to you experiencing more feelings of loneliness and isolation.
“Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.”– Aristotle.
“Don’t forget to love yourself. “– Soren Kierkegaard.
“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”– Mother Teresa.
“Love does not dominate; it cultivates.”– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
“To love another person is to see the face of God.”– Victor Hugo.
“Where there is love there is life.”– Mahatma Gandhi.
“For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.”– Carl Sagan.
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”– Lucille Ball.
“A loving heart is the truest wisdom.”– Charles Dickens.
“The one thing we can never get enough of is love. And the one thing we never give enough of is love.”– Henry Miller.
What Happens When You Grow Up Without Any Signs of Loving?
Growing up in a loveless environment will most probably lead to your survival instincts dominating your behavior and the way you think. You may have problems trying to relate to others. You may also suffer from low self-esteem, and be defensive. This defensiveness may manifest either as shyness, reclusiveness, or anger and aggression.
People who have grown up without a loving environment may be:
- Overly independent.
- May not interact with others well.
- May not be able to ask for help or advice.
- May tend to have lower levels of emotional intelligence.
- Might tend to keep a safe physical distance from others
- Might not like to be touched.
Sometimes, if you grow up in the absence of love, you may have intense feelings about being a victim. A whole other set of emotions may dominate your thoughts, that do not help move you towards experiencing the affection you have lacked up to now.
When you have feelings of attraction towards someone it can be difficult to communicate the way you feel. This can be frustrating and, as you try to communicate, you may end up creating more distance between you and the person you like.
How to Practice Love and Respect.
A major part of a loving relationship with others, be it a romantic or other type of relationship, is to have mutual respect.
The following may assist in building the strength of the relationship through respect:
- Understanding each other’s values in a non-judgmental way.
- Accepting each other’s point of view as valid, even if you don’t agree.
- Listening more than talking.
- Listening without interrupting.
- Supporting each other.
- Not allowing perceptions to lead to unfair judgment.
- Giving each other space when necessary.
- Expressing gratitude toward each other.
- Allowing each other to follow their dreams.
Love and respect don’t try to control others. Each partner in the relationship is responsible for their own life and happiness and should be free to pursue their own hopes and dreams. If the relationship can prevail alongside this, you may well have won the relationship lottery.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. What is the true definition of love?
A. Love is a feeling and an emotion that involves affection for someone, caring for them deeply, and experiencing intense feelings of attraction towards them. It is also a sense of commitment and a sense of belonging, that grows over time in a loving relationship.
Q. How do you know if you’re falling out of love?
A. Falling out of love may manifest as:
- A gradual decline in affection.
- A decrease in the sense of belonging.
- A lack of intense feelings towards the person you once loved.
It might also be reflected in a reduced interest in spending time with that person and a diminished sense of commitment.
Q. What is it to love life?
A. To love life means to have:
- A positive outlook on life.
- To find joy and happiness in everyday experiences.
- To appreciate the beauty of existence.
It involves embracing both the ups and downs together and making the most out of every moment.
Q. What does loving someone unconditionally mean?
A. To love someone unconditionally means loving them without any conditions or expectations. It is a type of love that people feel towards their loved ones regardless of their flaws, mistakes, or shortcomings.
Q. What is better to love or to be loved?
A. Both loving and being loved are essential aspects of a healthy relationship. While being loved provides a sense of security and validation, loving someone allows you to experience the joy and fulfillment that comes with caring for someone deeply.
Q. Is love worth it?
A. Yes, love is worth it. While it may come with its ups and downs, the experience of loving is one of the most profound and rewarding aspects of human life.
Q. Difference between having love for someone and loving them?
A. Having a love for someone generally refers to feeling affection or fondness towards them. On the other hand, loving them goes beyond that, to involve a deep emotional connection, care, and a commitment to their well-being.
Q. What does it mean to love yourself?
A. To love yourself means to have a healthy sense of self-worth and self-compassion. It involves accepting yourself for who you are, acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses, and practicing self-care and self-respect.
Q. Is love necessary?
A. Love is an essential part of the human experience. It plays a significant role in forming connections and bonds between individuals. It contributes to overall well-being and happiness.
Does Unconditional Love Make Healthy Relationships?
Yes, unconditional love can contribute to healthy relationships by fostering a sense of trust, security, and emotional support between partners. However, it should be balanced with healthy boundaries and communication.
How does love change over time?
Love changes over time, as relationships mature and grow. It may evolve from passion to a more profound and committed affection that develops through shared experiences and emotional closeness.
Q. Infatuation vs. Love: How Can You Tell the Difference?
A. Infatuation is characterized by intense feelings of liking and euphoria towards someone, often driven by physical attraction. On the other hand, lovingness involves a deeper emotional connection, commitment, and caring for someone beyond just physical attraction.
Q. What makes you feel loved?
A. Feeling loved can come from various actions and gestures, depending on the individual’s love language. It may include:
- Spending quality time with someone.
- Receiving acts of service.
- Words of affirmation.
- Physical touch.
- Receiving thoughtful gifts.
Summing Up What it is To Love.
In conclusion, if you understand that all of the empty space in the universe is filled with love, then you understand that you are 99.9% pure loving. The only things preventing you from manifesting this love in your life are your limiting beliefs and your emotions of fear, shame, and guilt. The most important things in your life are the thoughts in your mind and the words you say to yourself. These determine your beliefs and the amount of happiness you experience.
The thoughts in your mind and the words that you say to yourself are your choice. If you want a different experience – choose differently.
The love that you are is based in your heart, let it flow through and be it. Forgive yourself and allow healing to take place. This is the essence of surrender. Eventually, forgiveness disappears because you don’t see anything you experience as wrong anymore, so there is nothing to forgive.
Love is Not Weak.
Most importantly, understand that love is not weak. Also, understand that everyone must face the consequences of their choices and actions. The cause and effect of everything you choose plays out in this life. Caring still dictates that criminals go to jail for the safety of the greater community. However, they should be treated with dignity. If shown compassion they may reform. If they decide not to make different choices, that is just another choice they are free to make and they will bear the consequences of those choices.
Hopefully, you have found value in our discussion about being loving. Perhaps you now have a better understanding of how love plays its role in your own life. If you need to make changes or different choices please have the courage to do so. If you would like to contact the writer please feel free to do so through the contact page on this website. Also, please feel free to comment on this article, or share your own experiences learning about love. You might just be the inspiration that someone else needs right now.
With love as always
Richard H Morris.
Nothing in this post should be interpreted as any form of professional advice. The content herein is provided for information and entertainment purposes only and merely reflects the research done and opinions expressed by the Author. We do make use of affiliate links in our content, should you decide to buy something through one of our links we will receive a commission at no additional cost to the Purchaser.