Most of us reading this article would have at one time or other experienced “falling in love” or “being in love”; love IS indeed a many splendoured thing ... no? Remember that first crush or “puppy love”; or your first kiss and teenage/highschool romance; or the many other times you thought you found “true love” only to realise too soon (sometimes a little late) that it really isn’t what it generally is thought to be. Then there are some who are fortunate to have been living their happy-ever-after, until ... Add the romantic movies and novels and we have the world searching far and wide for that one true love, their soulmate, their knight in shining armour, their inamorata/inamorato.
Some say humanity cannot survive or exist without love; that it is a human need to love and be loved. And yet, we’ve read about some of the great and tragic love stories in history; seen love blossom and fade within our families, among friends and our own lives. Love is not all peaches and cream (but that’s a thought this writer imagines). It might be all rosy, as in the beginning of most relationships, but in reality, the bond needs to be cultivated, and it does take two hands to clap. Still, even with all the heartache and effort, the search for love continues through the eras and ages, never tiring or ending - a relentless pursuit that has generation after generation hoping, searching, expecting ... but what is love really? We put romantic love under the microscope.
Curious by nature and having had some skint of experience in the area of romantic love and a lot of reading on the subject, this writer’s heart goes aflutter (dramatising a little) on discovering a book by Mike George - The 7 Myths about LOVE ... Actually! George has authored over 40 books and has more than 30 years of experience guiding, coaching and facilitating people in communities and companies. Here’s an excerpt, among other valuable insights from his book.
“There is no such thing as true love, in a sense that there is no such thing as untrue love. Love is simply mistaken for something that it is not, just as we mistake ourself for something that we are not. When you can understand that, you can never go away from what and where you are; you will see that love is never lost, simply obscured, avoided, ignored or suppressed. But like you, love is always present ...”
Having asked a number of people about their perception of love, this writer realised how vast and different ideas were. Perhaps vague responses answered the question?
Definitely food for thought ... But not quite so strangely, the writer stumbles on “bits and pieces” from The Art of Loving authored by the late German social psychologist, psychoanalyst and philosopher Erich Fromm. Fromm states (in his book) that the problem with love today is that people expect to be loved rather than to be loving, simply because we have forgotten how to give love! And he puts the blame on attitudes rooted in the development of modern society, among other reasons. What strikes is his view on why people of this time and age rarely try to learn this “art”, or have even mastered it yet, having pursued it generation after generation, and are still haphazardly pursuing it.
“In spite of the deep-seated craving for love, almost everything else is considered to be more important than love: success, prestige, money, power — almost all our energy is used for the learning of how to achieve these aims, and almost none to learn the art of loving.”
Considering the general notion that to love one has to first receive love, we return to George, who in a Q&A on YouTube shared about the age-old question - What is love?
“Love is what I am, you are, we are. People tend to externalise love, see it on the outside, as something required and to acquire. We think it has to come from outside, from another person, from things, outside in. That’s the huge mistake everyone makes, believing love has to come from outside in. With this mindset, we will always be searching, dependent on what we think is giving us a sense of love.
“When consciousness is clear, when there is no attachment, no ego, no negativity, we vibrate love from within. Love is what each of us is and we can’t ‘know’ that up and until we give it away, until we give of ourselves without wanting anything in return. Ultimately, it is that which comes from inside out, from within our consciousness. And this is not a new idea - it’s ancient wisdom”.
It takes a while to digest. Perhaps eye-opening to some, still these are views and ideologies that require great thought. Nonetheless, the question, if we’ve become a people who have forgotten how to love is still unsettling.
As the mind quietly ruminates, we bring to fore a little snippet on the popular 60s “Love is ...” comic strip of one liners complemented with adorable illustrations that speak a “million words” and gives rise to a kazillion feelings of affection.
Not many may be aware of the fact that all those “little bits of sunshine” were actually love notes and drawings created by Kim Grove for her, then husband-to-be Roberto Casali, whom she did walk down the aisle with.
Since Kim’s passing in 1997, her son Stefano has kept his mother’s legacy of the beloved comic panel, with Bill Asprey drawing the charming cartoons.
Visit www.artfulaspreycartoons.co.uk/love-isdaily-cartoon where you can imbibe in a daily dose of love - cute and creative ways of expressing it. Otherwise, check out Kim and Roberto’s love story at www.loveiscartoon.com/a-love-story/
For now, this writer leaves this topic on this note - that love is yet to be made complete sense of, but is meant to be discovered, shared and not kept as in possession of some thing. Happy Valentine’s Day and let’s be loveful!
MOVIE LOVE LINES
* Moulin Rouge - “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love, and be loved in return.”
* The Princess Bride - “Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.”
* Atonement - “I will return. I will find you. Love you. Marry you. And live without shame.”
* Shakespeare in Love - “You will never age for me, nor fade, nor die.”
* Kissing A Fool - “True love cannot be found where it does not truly exist, nor can it be hidden where it truly does.”
* The Cutting Edge - “Don’t say we aren’t right for each other, the way I see it is we aren’t right for anyone else.”
* Gone With The Wind - “You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how.”
* Great Expectations - “Everything I’ve ever done, I’ve done for you.”
* The Great Gatsby - “I love her and that’s the beginning and the end of everything.”
* My Best Friend’s Wedding - “If you love someone you say it, you say it right then, out loud. Otherwise the moment just passes you by.”