What is love

 

I was recently asked, “What is love?” I realised then, that I do not know the answer, only that I believe true love should lead to happiness. After thinking about this for some time, I have concluded that this should never be asked in a relationship unless there is something missing. Love is like ageing, it happens to everyone, and is not something you would try to analyse unless you are concerned with what is missing. But what does the “full package” look like?

My ideal is best illustrated by the lyrics of a song by Howard Jones:

Love is letting each other be who we are without fear of censure. Love is not wanting the other to become a clone of ourselves. ‘Other’ offers resistance, pushing us to find what is self. Love is actively embracing our equality and pushing each other to realise our full potential and make our full contribution to the world. Love is facing forward, both fighting for a common goal – both strong, both independent and positively choosing a knowing dependence. Love is always leaving the door unlocked and continuing that love when ‘other’ may choose to use the exit. Love is letting go and wishing well. Love is aching joy. Love is the safe haven. Love is arriving home.

I think Aristotle was onto something too when he said, “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.”

I have a confession to make. I went to see the Trolls movie at the cinema. It’s funny how kids’ movies often have deep and meaningful messages. The movie finished by explaining that you can’t ingest happiness, it is already within you. To ingest something, you take in something external. If love is happiness, should I be searching for it within myself? After all, nobody else has been with me more, through all the good times, the bad times, knows all my hopes and dreams, and has the power to completely change every aspect of my life. So, is love where you combine your happiness with someone else’s, to create an elevated state of happiness? Or does love help you to find your happiness within? Or both?

I would LOVE to hear people’s opinions.

About Nick Verron

Lead Ambassador for the Royal Bucks

Posted on November 5, 2016, in My blog and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 87 Comments.

  1. For me Love is knowing you’ve found the person you want to be with because they complete your life but, being ready to accept it doesn’t work if both people don’t feel the same way. Your love must let the other person walk away despite the hurt.
    Hugs Nick

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love is both the prison and the key x

    Liked by 8 people

  3. This is a wonderful post and for sure something many are struggling with or pondering about. Unfortunately too many are searching for love or happiness outside. They think that only something or someone can make them happy of feel love. But it is exactly the other way around. We are made from love, our spirit is immortal loving energy. So love is who we are and happiness is an aspect of it. Yes, love is what we have deep within. We cannot find it when we look for it or wait until it is given to us.Then we will wait forever or we make us the slave to other people’s good-will. Those who let their own love shine are those who feel love, radiate love, and get it mirrored from all sides again. Wow, that was such a wonderful post, Nick. Thank you so much!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Such wise words and more relevant than you could possibly know. Thank you for the reassurance! I read this comment just before I went out and heard something which seemed to be very relevant to this; “no man is free that is not master of himself.”

      Liked by 2 people

      • That is a very profound quote that you mentioned here. Whatever we feel or perceive is always a mirror from what we allow us to feel or perceive. It is up to us and nobody has any power over it unless we give it to them. But who can make us feel anything if we refuse to agree? No one! We can all feel love and happiness. It is an insided job and not a gift or reward! Thank you for your beautiful post again, Nick!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Deep stuff, Nick. I think love is a glimpse, achieved by two souls, of an
    Openness that will, one day, be lived by all souls…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I think it’s a bit of both. And I think the ‘one’ is the person you feel entirely comfortable with at all times so that you are free to be yourself. Who was it who said something about ‘looking outwards together’?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. i think it’s within each of us, but a loved shared with someone, brings it to it highest level.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. The thing I see missing in folks who claim to love, wonder about love or search for love is that love is not really intended to be a feeling, it’s a VERB. If we want to touch love, we must BE love: extending kindness, support, empathy, willingness to forgive, and gratitude to all we encounter, to the very best of our abilities. “What goes around, comes around” applies to the good stuff as well as the bad.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Liked by 5 people

  8. Love the word can describe lots of situations but to feel love is like these examples I give. A hug- you can feel the love flow through you and make you warm and safe. A kiss- be it tender or passionate fills your body with love. A donation heartfelt received- causes tears through love and a warm tummy and smile. Feel love from yourselves or others. give back love to yourself or others. For me it has always been about feeling rather than thinking of the word and I’m lucky that I now have someone who loves me and who is the missing part of my soul.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. The comments here are great and each person has a slightly different view. I myself think that love does live inside us it also come with many other feelings that will test its power. I read the following poem every day and twice when the days get rough. Please remember this is my way of keeping the love in me shining.

    INVICTUS
    By: William Ernest Hindley

    Out of the night that covers me
    Black as the pit from pole to pole
    I thank whatever Gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul
    In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winked or cried aloud.
    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds and shall find me unafraid
    It matters not how straight the gate,
    How charged with punishments
    the scroll
    I am the master of my fate;
    I am the captain of my soul.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for sharing this! This is definitely one of my favourite poems ever. I particularly like the last two lines, and this reminds me of something I heard yesterday. “No man is free that is not master of himself.”

      Liked by 2 people

  10. I believe love is always an inside job. When we truly love ourselves, that love extends unconditionally to others, and we can love the dark and the light in both. I think it’s a journey, though, this learning to truly love, and most of us are still on the path. ❀

    Liked by 3 people

  11. It is easy to embrace love when things are going well. The challenge is to find/keep that love, even in the darkest of times. If it is in our heart, it never leaves, it just gets masked at times. We can find our way back. A beautiful post that I meant to comment on when I first read it. Thanks to Sue for reposting. πŸ’˜

    Liked by 5 people

  12. Nick, I hope to take my grandies next weekend to see the movie, “Trolls.” You definitely made it more appealing due to your words of including love being within ourselves as a message! πŸ™‚ There have been some special animated movies which include loving our neighbors and acceptance, too. I liked “Zootopia” for this kind of love.
    I love unconditionally and mainly get the most love from my family ad a few friends. Seeking love is often futile By just being, as many have mentioned, lovable and caring may attract one person to return love in a romantic way. I hope each person in tis word has at least one person who is loving and receives their love in return. ❀ Smiles Robin

    Liked by 3 people

  13. “You will find greater inner peace when you do not need others to act in a certain way in order to be happy yourself.”

    “What is commonly called “Falling in love” is in most cases an intensification of egoic wanting and needing. You become addicted to another person, or rather to your image of that person. It has nothing to do with true love which contains no wanting whatsoever.” Eckhart Tolle.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I guess I’m honestly not sure where to take this. I could easily point to Corinthians–Love is Patient, blah blah blah–but I guess I see more in Faith and Hope than in Love. It’s because we believe in someone else, because we have hope that to be together will lead to better things, that we can continue to love. Does that make sense?

    Liked by 2 people

  15. There are so many different kinds of love that for me, it is tricky to define. I think it is wanting the best for someone even if it doesn’t involve you in their lives. It’s wanting to nurture, protect and make someone happy, yet encourage them to fly when they need to have their own space.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. There are so many great, wise comments, that I cannot fill in something more to say…

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Oops, the nothingmoretosay went away too soon. I want to add that you can pick any one of them or merge them into one…and everything will be just fine. There is also someone out there for each one of us – and we will meet in due time.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hi Nick, thanks for such an interesting post. I don’t think that we can come up with an ‘absolute’ definition of ‘love,’ as there of so many types of love, lovers, loved, loving. Yes, I think it is connected to happiness but I don’t think it is necessarily something is an inevitable as ageing. Some people never know love, though most do in some aspect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jean! The start of the comment I replied to below applies here too. As love is between two unique individuals, any given love is unique. And you are right to pickup on the in the accuracy about ageing. The thought did cross my mind. But you are right, I’m sure some people never know love. But what is love to one, may not be love to another, and vice versa.

      Like

  19. After so many years, I have finally concluded that love is what we believe it is for us and ours. Feelings aren’t definable. You could define love as it pertains to some philosophical construct or abstraction … but between real, live people? It will be what it is. More embracing passion when you are young, responsibility in the long middle, and concern and support as the years wear on. It’s all love. Like the elephant and the blind man. It’s all about how you look at it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Very evocative stuff you say here. I agree, as love is between two unique people, every love is therefore unique, and completely subjective. I would just say, that you cannot rely solely on passion as the basis of a relationship. It saddens me and doesn’t give me confidence, when I thought I was at the responsibility stage and the “other” defaulted to the passion stage. I too, have seen close friends that seemed happy and content, well into the long middle, parting ways without warning as their “other” did this too. And I think it scares everybody to be alone in the concern and support stage.

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  20. Love is definitely an inside job! πŸ˜‰ It arises of its own accord, and the only thing we must do is allow its flow. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I think there are various answers and combinations, but to truly be capable of knowing, understanding and nurturing love, we first have to start by truly loving ourselves. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I realise that this is going to come across as cynical… but I believe that love is a deep seated instinct and hormonal reaction that bonds us to those who nurture us and keep us safe. Unfortunately our definition of love can be distorted in childhood, by our early experiences with our first romances and by what we are exposed to in the world around us. Our expectations play a big part in the way that we look at love. There is a Happy Ever After industry in writing and film that tries to sell us the formula for love and how we should feel. We have a different relationship with the people in our lives that all come under the heading of ‘love’.. mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters and extended family. Pets invoke a huge loving response and that is because it is unconditional. But real love with another person is not unconditional. It is a relationship that starts with a massive hormonal rush and then if allowed to, develops into a cohesive unit bonded together by mutual respect, humour, desire to protect, conflict at times, committment, perseverance and all the other elements that are needed sustain it for a lifetime. Being in love can be tough and amazing.. often at the same time but it never survives if it is one-sided or demanding. You do have to give to receive and then take it from there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This comment is super interesting, thanks for taking time to share your thoughts on this controversial subject.When people talk about love, they often talk about it in such “matter of fact” ways, perhaps referring to the Happy Ever After formula, which I think everybody yearns for. You’ve stricken a chord with me. My “love distortion” is almost overwhelming. To make matters worse, this has only been compounded as my life has progressed. This has also completely warped my expectations, leading to my utter confusion. One thing that’s become clear over time though, is to abide by this saying: “If you grow up thinking other people’s hearts work in the same way as yours, you will be very disappointed.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • All I can say Nick is that somehow, in some extraordinary way, it happens. I had a pretty distorted view about love because of a number of experiences from my childhood, teen years and early 20s. By 28 I was quite happy to call it quits altogether and row my own boat for life. However, it only took a voice on the end of the phone and one date for me to blindly leap into a marriage after only five weeks. That was 36 years ago on Wednesday and we still laugh about our whirlwind.. he wasn’t planning on marriage either. You have had a tougher go of it than most and your entire focus has been on recovery. That recovery would not have been as effective or as successful without the love around you, sometimes no doubt tough love. Just keep an open mind and an open heart and go about your business and don’t look for it.. it will find you! Oh and something to think about with expectations.. A girl spent her life looking for the perfect man, only to find him and discover to her disappointment that he was looking for the perfect woman…love and hugs.

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Love is when you are able to open your heart and allow it to be vulnerable to another.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. There are so many different kind of loves, love for a partner, family, friends, children. Some folks love their dogs more than anyone! The more love the better, pets included, hate is the enemy, love is what we should be aiming for.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. This is lovely Nick!

    Like

  26. Love is mysterious and non of us no truly how deep it can be

    Like

  1. Pingback: What is love by Nick Verron | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

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