“What is love? Oh baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more.” That’s one of the countless songs and movies and TV shows out there based or centered around true love. Oh my God, where does one start about such a quintessential topic like love? It is so freaking humongous.
Books have been written, stories have been created, characters have been built, wars have been fought on Love, and not to mention the billion-dollar industry ‘Love’ paved the way for.
So, here we are gonna understand whether we really understand what true love actually is? Is it what the movies and TVs have taught us or what the marketing agencies have fed us? Is it something that one can’t get rid of or is totally passionate about? Going to any extent and doing things that know no limit, is that love? Are we confusing attachment with love? Is feelings and emotions love? Can we label the hormonal changes in our bodies as love? And what about attraction, lust, or the whole ‘love at first sight’ notion? Is love dependency?
As you could probably see, love indeed is a fascinating topic to talk and discuss about. It’s gonna be a lot of fun to peel off the layers and discover what true love is actually all about. Let’s break it down step by step.
Is True Love Attachment?
Can there ever be true love where there is a sense of attachment? Attachment is more like announcing that “This is my property”, “That’s my car”, “That’s my kid”. And gaining authority over people has got nothing to do with true love.
Parents who are attached to their children want their children to do things that they feel are right for them. It’s this attachment only that’s boosting their expectations. The attachment will keep the children from doing what they really want to do unless that’s what their parents also want, which is pretty rare.
Love is about freedom and not encompassing someone in a cage. If someone you are attached to, doesn’t do what you want them to do or defy your directions, then that’s gonna strain the whole relationship which is gonna be a challenge to mend. True love isn’t about controlling someone’s life, it’s about allowing them and empowering them to live the way they want to and being there for them when they need you.
Is True Love Dependency?
The entertainment and movie industry deserves some blame for this misconception that they have planted and so effectively ingrained in our minds that love is when you are dependent on the other person. The whole notion of “I can’t live without you”, “My life is deficient if you aren’t there”, “I won’t survive if you are not with me”, “You complete me” has screwed up our concepts of true love.
Where there is dependency, there always is a fear in the form of a sword hanging right over our heads, ready to slice us apart. Now, can true love exist where every waking second of your life is focussed on ‘What if he/she leaves me tomorrow for x,y,z reasons?’
Of course, it can’t be. The more dependent you are on someone, the farther you are from actually experiencing true love.
You might be with someone you don’t like just because you don’t know what you are gonna do if the person leaves you, and we call that physical proximity as true love. That’s truly bollocks. It isn’t just limited to a person, it can extend to any kind of work, thing, or even a particular type of situation as well.
It’s just like a person who has to do a job to ensure his survival as he has no clue as to where he’s gonna turn to in order to sustain his family. That’s not true love, that’s dependency, that’s like being caged. It’s more of a transaction. You do something and you get something in return. But is it love?
Is True Love Being happy in Someone Else’s Happiness?
You might have come across this notion of love as well when one partner says that whatever makes him happy will make me happy. So, is that true love now?
Let’s say, your partner loves to take drugs, and being high and stoned makes her happy. So does that mean you should also be happy and support her under the pretense of true love?
If someone you care about is happily wasting his life away doing mundane and trivial things, then should you also pretend to put a smile on your face because you think you love him?
Food for thought.
Is True Love Addiction?
You have been with someone for over 3 years. You know each other’s dirtiest and most disgusting secrets, you have been through every thick and thin, and you are practically so into each other’s life that now you can’t spend another moment without them.
Or in other words, you have become addicted to the other person after spending so much time together. So, now you have to live with the person because you are so used to being with them, just like an alcoholic can’t stay away from liquor because he’s addicted to it.
And the fun part about being addicted is that the one who gets addicted doesn’t care about what the other person wants, he only cares about how the person can satisfy him.
Just like the alcoholic doesn’t care what the liquor wants, all he cares about is the 112 ways the liquor can satisfy him. The second liquor starts demanding something from the alcoholic that he doesn’t like, well, then that is the foundation of all the clashes and fights.
Too much for true love, eh?
Can you Love Someone without Loving Yourself?
People who don’t love themselves can’t possibly ever truly love anyone else. Such people would try to impose their thoughts and dreams on others that they want them to fulfill. People who don’t love themselves often are of the opinion that ‘just because I couldn’t achieve x,y,z things in life that I wanted to, I am a loser’ and now they want someone else to achieve those x,y,z things.
If they are able to achieve those dreams, they’d love them and if they don’t then they consequently won’t. And that’s not true love. Such lifeless people will simply use other people to fill their own infinite void in life, which can never be completely fulfilled by anyone but themselves.
A person who himself is homeless won’t be able to give shelter to somebody else, a person who’s malnourished himself won’t be able to fill someone else’s paunch, a poverty-stricken person won’t be able to finance his friend, and similarly, ladies and gentlemen, a person who doesn’t love himself, who’s void of love, can’t possibly love anyone else.
Is True Love all about Feelings and Emotions?
What are feelings if not sensations that we experience? When you caress your arms, you will feel a sensation, right? So, is that sensation true love? Are feelings what constitute love? Is love a thought?
The thought of loving your country gives a pretty good sensation but is actually poles apart from truly loving your country. The thought of shouting at the top of your lungs that how much you love your country on social media or in front of your friends isn’t the same as actually loving your country.
Terrorists are also leveraging the power of thoughts only to create superficial love in themselves to do the disgustful deeds. According to them, they are simply acting out of love for their own organization. They feel jolly good while spreading terrorism because they are in love at the level of their thoughts, which is triggering all the feel-good emotions and sensations.
So, is that true love?
Is Love all About Pleasures?
This phenomenon has been brutally publicized and beautified; yes I am talking about the whole ‘Love at first sight’ gimmick. What happens is that a guy spots a girl who “sweeps” him off his feet, he can’t take his eyes off of her, his body temperature changes, his pupils dilate, his hormones strike a different chord, and torrents of cheerful and delightful sensations rock his entire body.
Now, don’t get me wrong. That is all a part of the process of actually finding your true love, but the act itself isn’t what true love is all about. The majority of people are under the impression that just because he’s ‘feeling good and pleasurable’ he must be in love.
It’s these very feelings and sensations only that have also beaten the shit out of our love life. The whole foundation of any relationship nowadays just relies on these ever-changing feelings and emotions.
As long as your partner is filling your timeline with pleasurable moments, you are in ‘love’ but the minute those pleasures take a u-turn, you are ready to rip each other apart and start looking for someone else who will give you those positive sensations.
That’s what’s happening in the majority of divorce or breakup cases. Couples who were in awe of each other in the beginning of the relationship are ensuring to give the worst of the times to their respective partners. Now, can one even expect a smidgen of ‘hate’ where there is true love?
Is True Love Actually just a Selfish Act?
Probably any wise person will be able to see the whole structure and would realize that we, for most of the time, are simply masking our own selfish motives with ‘love’ and never really trying to figure out what it truly stands for.
Will we ever really be able to look into the other person to know what she wants, what she cares about, what is her center point and all of that until we are absolved from our own selfish motives and pleasure-seeking self? Doesn’t seem like it.
Will we ever be able to make her happy and whole if we ourselves are miserable and incomplete?
What I am trying to point out is the fact that as long as you are ‘searching’ or ‘looking’ for love, you cannot truly ‘love’ someone. You’d just be using the other person to quench your own thirst. Having said that, I am not judging anyone and labeling what’s right or wrong, I am simply trying to demarcate the two and raise your awareness about the same.
So, essentially, you gotta work on yourself first to make yourself whole and complete from any and every angle to be even eligible to truly love someone in the first place. Only then will you be able to fathom the fact that true love isn’t some temporary feeling or pleasure that comes and goes, but it is actually something that never runs out.
Love VS Relationship
For a relationship to sustain and thrive, there are some key points that must be met. Defining boundaries, respect, trust, loyalty, understanding, forgiveness, space; are all vital components to keep a relationship healthy and strong. But is it connected to true love?
Just because someone has met all those conditions, does it simply imply that they are truly in love with each other as well? Come to think of it, the same thing happens in a business partnership as well, where both profits from ensuring a stable relationship. The very essence of a relationship is that of a quid pro quo, and for good reasons.
To maintain order in the society, some rules have to be mutually set by both the parties which must be diligently followed to establish a relationship. But that might not be the endpoint of what true love is about.
So Give it to me Already!
Put simply, true love is about oneness. The state where we shatter our so-called ‘identities’ that we have established over the years and become one with the other. Here there is no ‘I’ and ‘You’, only ‘we’.
And being one not just physically or mentally, but at such a level that there is no possibility whatsoever to ever be separated. You can stay physically connected for only so long, and becoming mentally connected is even more cumbersome as no two people can possibly have the exact same set of information or thoughts.
The unfortunate part is that we keep on trying to extract love from those two levels only. Physical compatibility only gives you a temporary pleasurable sensation and total mental compatibility is just too much of a hassle. To be mentally connected, you both would have to have the same thoughts and feelings at the same time for the same duration which is just beyond imagination.
Hence, you can’t be ‘one’ at both of those levels permanently and you shouldn’t even try to. It will only lead to disappointment if you take on such a mammoth expectation without deeply understanding the context of what’s being said. This begs the question “where can we experience this oneness?” You will discover that in the later section.
True Love Transcends Time
Might sound cheesy or unrealistic, but true love makes time stop. Just being with each other would make everything else meaningless. Now, this doesn’t mean the world will cease to exist. Try looking at it from a poetic lens to feel the gravity of the statement.
Also by time, I don’t mean the physical time—the universe will continue expanding—I mean the psychological time. Simply being with the person will make your past and future redundant(for the time being) and you will be in the moment completely. Your thinking comes to an end and you feel light as air, free of any burden or stress.
Discover your Real Self to Love Truly
Remember a while back I said true love is about being one with the other, where your ego boundaries seemingly dissolve and you essentially coalesce into a single entity? So, I kinda left you hanging when I said that you can’t actually become one either at the physical level or at the mental level.
This begs the question that where can we actually experience this ‘oneness’? And the answer is: at your deepest level.
You can only fathom this phenomenon once you come to terms with who you really are, your true self. When you see to it, then you will come to this realization that fundamentally there is no difference between you and me or anyone else for that matter.
In this ocean of life, we are not two separate waves trying to rise higher than the other, we are the water itself. Now, how can one possibly create any kind of distinction among water? There is no space for ego here whatsoever, water is water. There can’t be any “I am this and you are that” here at the level of what you are truly made of.
Or take it this way, a rainbow when looked at might give us an impression that it’s 7 different colors, but fundamentally it’s all coming from one single source. So, one can either argue endlessly that “Oh I am red so I am better than you because of blah blah blah and you are violet and hence you suck” or you can stop the circus everyone’s a part of and see the reality that it’s actually the same light source. It doesn’t matter who’s red or violet, we are all the same, we are all ONE.
As your understanding of your true self deepens, you will come to the realization that when you look at your partner, you are in a way, just looking at a form of your own self. And when that happens, then whatever you do will be an act of true love.
You’d fight anyone in this physical world but yourself because obviously everyone loves themselves. So now what if you actually see yourself in your partner or everyone for that matter? Will there be any room left to quarrel or nitpick their mistakes or criticize or do any one of the 112 other not-so delightful things?
One can’t get separated at this level. You may get physically distant or become mentally incompatible, your relationship may fall out, but there won’t be any way to go back from your real self.
Only when you actually experience this personally instead of just skimming through it theoretically, will you be able to understand the depths of true love. Only then will there be true love and not just empty words disguised as ‘love’.
You have to take a dip in the valleys of ‘oneness’ to experience the significance of true love.