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What is Love?

Love is one of the 8 Core Elements of a Relationship. But what exactly is Love?

Perhaps the reason why we are constantly in search of defining love is because love means different things to different people at different times of their lives and it is expressed and interpreted differently depending on a variety of factors.

I understand too, that the idea and expectation of love is not always the fact or reality of it and love alone is not enough to save a relationship if there are other issues that have not been addressed. Having said that, it is a given that a relationship would not exist without some sort of love; yet love can exist outside of a relationship – a love without attachment.

My personal belief system helps me to put love into perspective for myself, which is that we, as humans, are all made up of energy; energy cannot be destroyed and therefore, we have something – a consciousness – within all of us that continues on after the wants and needs of our earthly bodies. It is within this consciousness that ultimate love exists, and that energy will always be there – no matter the earthly break-ups or dramas or issues - true and ultimate love free of attachment and jealousy will prevail.

Unfortunately, this ultimate love does not enter our minds, and of course is not practical when we are trying to navigate through real life relationships which may include betrayal, infidelity, falling in and out of love, obsessing over one or another, attachment anxiety, overdue bills, family opinions and everything else that comes with an earthly human relationship. And so, in our imperfect human existence we need to understand the aspects within the element of love in order to identify and attend to issues relating to how we experience and express love.

The component that contribute to the whole element of LOVE in the context of a relationship are:

  • Idealized/Dream Love (crush love)

  • Romantic Love (honeymoon love)

  • Companionate Love

  • Mature/Caring/Compassionate Love

  • Immature/Dependant Love

  • Symbiotic/Destructive Love

  • Obsessive/Jealous Love.

In the components mentioned above there are descriptive words of love that seem to be completely contradictory to what we know as LOVE. How can one feel Jealous Love? As with everything in the vast complexity of life, within love, their exists a yin and yang. The reality is that love is simple and complicated, it is steadfast and evolving, it is stable and exciting - do you see what I'm getting at here?

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrong. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

I love this passage from the Christian Bible, except that I would add on: Through thick and thin. Through betrayal and hurt. Through raising children and arguing over dirty laundry and who's cooking dinner. Through buying and moving house. Through losing jobs and getting promoted. Through melt downs and tantrums and sulks. Through life and death. Through up’s and downs. No matter how things change, Love is showing up and allowing each other to evolve together, as messy as it gets.

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