IS LIFE REALLY ABOUT LOVE?
OR IS IT ABOUT...?
Love is idealized, romanticized, made into some kind of thing to be worshipped. But what is it really? And is it what life is really about?
Well, yes and no. It depends on how you define it and what it really is.
"When all your desires are distilled you will cast just two votes: To love more and be happy."
But, I say that "to love" is what leads to the final desire, which is "to be happy."
"To love" feels good. Evolution "decided it so", as those who loved stuck together and survived, to pass their genes down to future generations. Those who didn't did not do so well in passing their genes down.
It "feels good" to love, which means it makes us happy.
If we are no longer loved or we are rejected, the primitive mind says "oh, oh, I am being threatened and my survival probability has been reduced" and then it does its thing to spur us on, by emitting negative feeling chemicals to motivate us to remedy the situation so we can better survive to procreate more. (See The Story Of Our Happy And Our Unhappy Chemicals.) But the more and more we grow up in life, the more we realize that we do not "need" to be loved by others, as we see that we are no longer dependent like children for others to meet our needs. And, yes, though we can step aside, we do appreciate the natural good feelings of being loved, recognized, liked - for those are instinctual and perfectly fine to enjoy. The "I need to be loved" however is seen to not be a truth and we need not suffer at all from "not being loved" by a particular person. We also learn, as we grow, that we are no longer dependent on "approval" as an "ok, you can live and not be kicked out of the tribe to die in the jungle" - and we no longer seek approval as a means of validation - which frees us up to live of life with more "life value" and far less negativity.
SOMETHING TO "GET" OR SOMETHING TO CAUSE?
Douglas A. Smith, in Happiness, calls it "the one thing." "It is the love we have for ourselves and for others that leads to true joy." Notice that he did not say "love received". Victor Frankl, in Man's Search For Meaning: "The truth - that love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire." Yes, once we are "free to love" and no longer dependent, we can reach the pinnacle of the actual highest goal: deep, enduring, unconditional happiness.
Smith, again: "The most fundamental decision we can make, regarding happiness, is to love: to care for ourselves, to care for others and to care for the world in which we live."
Indeed, it is our belief that love will make us happy that causes us to feel happy. It is the meaning we give to "giving to another" that makes us happy. And, unfortunately, it is the false meaning that we give to "not being loved" or being rejected that makes us unhappy - but with "life learning" one can remove that meaning into a nothingness, with no real meaning in today's world.
IS IT LOVE OR IS IT FEAR?
It is said that there are only two things: love or fear. And that you are acting in one or the other, but not both. If you fear losing someone, you are not operating from love - you are just "needing" love, which, of course, is in no way acting from "love".
In the overall context of life, love has broadened out from something that is an attachment to another human being but to mean anything that contributes good for mankind. When we are progressive and solution oriented, we are coming from love - perhaps from a reverence for life, a form of "love".
AND WHICH LOVE IS MORE IMPORTANT?
Love from another or love for oneself?
Without discussing this in deep philosophical terms, I say that love for oneself is the most important.
We can get along without love from others. We can survive just fine.
But we can never do well if we do not love ourselves and feel good about and toward ourselves. Indeed this is one of the essential ingredients to being happy in life - without it we cannot be happy. And our very purpose, as the Dalai Lama agrees, is to be happy in life. (See The Essentials For Creating Happiness.)
And, be warned, that depending on something that we have no control over for our happiness is not a great idea. Putting "love" into our own hands, under our own control, puts us back into the seat of power to cause our lives to be as we wish it to be.
Love is being open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance." John and Patrice Robson