There is a lot that I have read on love...scientific research studies, novels, philosophical essays, etc. There is a lot that I have done out of love. There is also a lot that I have experienced in the name of love...both pleasant and painful. So, should it not be easy to write a post on love? Strangely, it isn't. Despite my readings, practice, and experience, I feel pretty unequipped to write about love. I certainly do have my ideas about love, but then who doesn't, right? After all, we have all experienced love in one form or another. So, can I say something new about love that you don't already know?
As I think more about the topic, may be I don't have to say something new. May be what we need most is a confirmation of what we already know deep inside our hearts. What we all know intuitively is that love plays a very important role in our happiness. That is the reason, when we do not have enough love around us, we feel distressed. We feel almost as if we are gasping for air. Love, in this way, is almost like oxygen; it breathes life into us. According to evolutionary psychologists, we feel this way because relationships were so critical to our survival. We needed others not only during our early childhood years, but also during our adulthood years. Without the help from fellow beings, we would not have survived the harsh conditions in which we lived millions of years ago. So, the need for love and belongingness has become part of our genetical makeup. And perhaps that is the reason we have so much of trepidation around love; we want to be sure that we have it.
But we do not just want any love. We all want true, authentic love. The issue is that whenever something is very valuable to us, we also tend to see a lot of fakes. We see that in the natural world, where many organisms fake capabilities that they don't really have. We also see this in our materialistic world, where there are a lot of counterfeits for all the big and valued brand names. I believe the same happens with respect to love too. There is a lot of pretentious love out there mixed along with the authentic varieties. Therefore, it becomes really difficult to distinguish the authentic variety from the fake ones, more so because the fakes have learnt to adorn many of the superficial characteristics of the authentic. Unfortunately, the heavy dose of fantasy that we get through commercial campaigns, movies, and soaps, make the differentiation process even more difficult. We have become so overawed by the symbols of love than actual love itself that we have lost our acuity to distinguish the real from the counterfeit. No wonder we suffer.
To be continued ...