- a strong feeling of affection
- a great interest and pleasure in something.
To be in love… It’s that feeling that you cannot really describe and is commonly known as “butterflies in the stomach” every time you meet that special someone. It’s the feeling that makes you draw hearts on every piece of paper and the constant smile that you have on your face without reason. It’s experiencing hundreds of small feelings – hope, inspiration, possibility, fear, anger, ecstasy, jealousy, hurt, obsession, joy – that you never quite experienced before in that way as if another half of life has been opened up to you.
A definition which in my view has the strongest impact is the one by M. Scott Peck in his book The Road Less Travelled. He defines love as “the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth”.
It’s simply showing someone the potential they don’t see in themselves, improving them, making them better in any way. Therefore, love is not a feeling but an action which derives from a committed and thoughtful decision.
Our attention is the number one requirement to show someone you love them and it is an act of will. When you love someone you give them if not all but a big part of your attention; you attend to that person’s growth. You take that extra step and go the extra mile without realising it, without feeling that is a burden or an extra weight that you have to carry. Your attention is given effortlessly and the more you contribute to someone’s spiritual growth the more you grow.
David Brooks in his book The Road to Character explains that “love eliminates the distiction betwen giving and receiving. Since the selves of the two lovers are intermingled, scrumbled and fused it feels more delicious to give to the beloved than to receive”.
They say self-love is a prerequisite to loving others. Carrie Bradsaw from Sex and the City said that “the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship that matters is the one that you have with yourself and if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous”!
When you love yourself you create your own definition for love in general. And love can be defined in as many ways as people are on this planet, because everyone feels it and experiences it in a different and a unique way. What is important is to know what it means to you. And as love is not something that you can really escape, “find what you love and let it kill you… For all things will kill you, both slowly and fastly, but it’s much better to be killed by a lover”. Charles Bukowski