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- What is Love?
And the beat goes on…there is stuff like Love. Love is very important to the individual. Everyone needs to be loved and everyone needs to love. Yes! Expression is just as crucial as receipt when it comes to Love. Without either one for extended periods of time, the person becomes offed in their behavior and thinking. People are nowadays talking about different kinds of Love; this is a recent phenomena. Actually, there is simply one Love, just as Bob Marley said. Here is the litmus test, Mother’s Love. If you don’t feel the same way about the person as you feel about your Mother, it probably is not Love. What I mean is, one needs to learn to differentiate between physical attraction or emotional infatuation and Love. Sure you can feel all these things for the same person, but it is not something that happens every day, especially when you are young. Usually, the ability to invoke Love into one’s life happens only after lots of experience with handling the challenges that come with life; and understanding that all things occur for the good and for the ultimate glory of God.
People, who are very emotional, often confuse the “rush” or “high” that comes with becoming aware of another person, with Love. The problem is-- infatuation is a result of the infatuated individual’s focusing on only a partial picture of the other person. It is thus an unreal situation and is compounded by the need for plenty of stimulation which places an unfair stress on the object of the infatuation. What is normally the basis of the confusion? It comes with how we in the Western Hemisphere are oriented towards Love. It comes from someone wanting to acquire a lover in the way that one will acquire a pet or a toy.
People are not toys, and if this fact was not obvious before, then it becomes painfully so at the first disagreement (which is inevitable). This is when if one had made life-changing decisions like marriage or children that the tears and anger come. Was it always so? Is it better now? Can it improve? All good questions, but until the answers are common knowledge the only thing that I’ve figured to do is handle Love with extreme care. A good rule that I’ve found to be useful is: “She can’t be my lover if she cannot be my friend”.
You and Me!
But your raise friends over time and a lot of kids don’t know or haven’t grasped the concept delayed gratification. You see them driving on the roads, reckless but wreckful, speeding to nowhere, in a hurry to get to the grave, same way in their personal lives; they take very little time to think so they are always exposed to risk. After a while the bones must come up “snake eyes” baby, and that is when you see sorrow. Check what I’m saying yow! If you don’t control yourself you can put yourself through a lot of painful but unnecessary shit. In addition, you want to know that it does not stop your divinely ordained mission any, that you go through pain. Everything is everything so you will learn no matter how you try not to. It is just that at a fundamental level, suffering is the primary child of ignorance, but I digress…
There is also the problem of attraction to a person’s looks being confused with Love. Well maybe it is better if I defined Love more clearly for you to see the problem that infatuation causes. Love is one of those general concepts that if not applied to the whole of a situation, usually bring about confusion. When one talks about loving someone else it must be an acceptance and respect of that person completely. Well some people might say, “Oh! That’s unconditional Love!” I say in response, “there is no other kind of Love”. Love by its very Nature is unconditional, like I said, it compares to how one might feel about one’s Mother. That is, if one had a good Mother.
So if you are physically attracted to a person, and that is the only or the main reason for you having a relationship with that person; then understand that this will be a short-lived relationship. Very few people tolerate the degradation of being a sex object for long. Also the power differential is high in such relationships and it gives rise to abuse.
Know man, true and committed Love relationships are much more satisfying and productive. All the positives go through the roof when true Love comes into play. The problem is however, that often we are far too immature mentally and emotionally at the time when Love relationships are being formed. Back to Love, Lauryn Hill sang, “respect is just a minimum”, how true… respect is the least to be expected from a lover. There is other stuff – reciprocity, truth, equality, balance, affection, peace, joy, contentment and so on.
But Love rests on respect, and among adult humans here in the West, there is no respect without equity. It is simple for those familiar with algebra.
I love me = I love you
Me must = You.
To explain further what is meant by this equation. Love begins within, and it is the domain of the aware. Awareness comes first of the self. There are basically three levels of awareness for the human being. They are “I”, “Me” and “You”.
The I is intrinsic, intelligent; it is the individual. The Me is the physical self, primarily the body. Notice how we speak, we say, “my hand, my eyes and my foot”. We own or possess these things which make up the body; of course, it is the most convincing part of our illusion or reality.
You will notice young children. Their primary concern is “Me”. Yes, the first thing that I become aware of and fall in love with is “Me”. Freud and friends explain it far more eloquently than I can in this little essay. One of the objects of socialization is to move children from this narcissistic place into one where they become aware and responsive to the needs of others than themselves. In other words, they need to become aware and responsive to the “You”.
But Love needs more than just an awareness of the “You” to flourish. I must learn to equate the importance of my needs with the importance of the needs of others. I have to value You as much as I value myself. When I learn to see past the illusion of differences into the core of actuality, then I will be able to achieve equity with my others.
Equity among lovers is an important ingredient if one wants Love to be successful, but equity is not easy to achieve or maintain. All types of conditions and situations mitigate against it. If these things are allowed to triumph and bring inequity into a relationship, it is the beginning of the end for those two people.
For Life I tell you!
What about honesty? The commitment to honesty is part of the resolve to respect the other person. I have found that people generally appreciate honesty even when they have no other use for the person in question. Honesty is an easy habit to form because it is based on what is actually happening. It is just that for many people, dishonesty is so ingrained into their system that it is difficult to let go.
So what is the basis for equality? It is found in the attitude “we are the same thing”. What I mean is, if there is any real thing that makes us different, then comes the thought that one is better than the other. Sometimes all that makes the difference is perception, but that does not matter to people generally. For perception is reality. So the idea that “we are the same thing” must be a fundamental rather than a surface attitude for both people in the relationship.
In other words, both of us need to understand that being human surpasses any perceived difference that the accident of gender, class, education or race might cause us to have about each other. In addition, we must both recognize that being human means a duality of awareness and expression that allows either partner to understand and assume the role of the other; therefore there is truly nothing that one can do that the other cannot. Once this or a similar mindset is assumed, the foundation for equality is put in place. All is left is to put this into practice consistently in everyday life.
But get me not wrong sirrah, Love is not only mental; Love is also very physical. This is where Love of self becomes very important. If one does not Love oneself, it is nigh close to impossible to Love someone else. Why is this so? Well it is because we channel Love through ourselves out of nothing into everything. Yes! Love begins with nothing and eventually through our thoughts, words and actions become everything (or real); so if we are not attuned to Love ourselves, we cannot channel it for another person.
Because of these considerations you see parents who are concerned for their children’s happiness, questioning the habits, values and mores of the prospective partners of their children. Because of these considerations, young people have a mental picture of their perfect partner. Of course, looks do not tell you everything about someone else, but it does say some things, like “this is how I feel about hygiene”. It is getting better now that education is a universal right of children; but one still has to be careful about the picture that one presents to the public or in particular, to one’s prospective partner. Imagine losing the chance to properly impress the girl who would have made your children millionaires because of bad breath. Nowadays, for all who still do not know, bad breath is completely avoidable or once acquired … curable. So there is n excuse for crap like that happening to you.
And there is more, for most people who want to embark on the Love journey, one has to look like one will make it to the end of the journey (the end normally is a happy retirement). If because of your habits or appearance it does not seem that you will retire happily, you will make a poor candidate to invest a lifetime into.
So basically all the habit and the mindset which is outlined in the Bible makes you a good image of a solid partner. Of course, to quote Sprite, “Image is nothing, thirst is everything”. You want to think about that. I mean, here in the Christian West, most girls’ perfect partner is Jesus. In their mind that is, but what would somebody who is really like Jesus be like in this modern age? So they are attracted to the image that they think portray the habits, but sometimes those things which make up the image are really just surface ornaments; the real person is very different.
I could write a book on the subject, Love is very strange nowadays. Boys are oriented by the society to think that money affords them Love. Girls are told to be attracted to money. So all the personality traits that make up a good lover are underplayed (that is, if they are played at all). Children therefore take up the same kind of attitude towards the opposite sex that education was supposed to get rid of. We are no better off than we were in the days of ignorance, or better said, we are still in the days of ignorance.
Sexual intercourse however, is very much stressed, and it is not stressed in the sense that it is a natural and normal part of life…It is taboo. Being thus only increases the attraction that young inexperienced heads in search of new and interesting experiences have towards it. It is much better to talk about sex and get it out in the open than to hide it away like stolen goods, but do most parents see that? No.
Over the years, many thinkers like Maslow and company have asserted that sex is a need. Well I don’t know that I agree with that since children by and large do without sex and it does not affect them adversely. Since I have become an adult however, I have realized that while it may not be a need, it is a very strong want for most adults. What do I recommend? Be gentle with your sisters son, it should be about Love rather than about anything else. Let them say “harder”—it is more fun that way.