Love..the most abused word of the century, yet the most conservatively practiced; the most philosophised concept, yet the most unknown to us; the most used topic in any language and literature, yet the least education imparted to us.
We have heard of the triumphs of love, seen what the pangs of love can do, felt the tickles of love, spoken of the irrationality of love, tasted the falacy of love….hell, I will go as far as saying I have even been in love! And yet we know so little of love!
And I don’t just mean romantic truely madly deeply love, I mean love for everything…from my room to my favourite meal, from my job, to my career, my family, my friends, my partners, my body, myself, my life, my God! Everything..that I so frivolously say I absolutely love so much! They deserve more from me than just learning on the go..
So I am here to open my heart and head..and honestly enquire and wish I had answers to these questions before I started off on this journey called love.
1. What does love mean?
When I ask google to define it for me, google finds me about 10,10,00,000 results in 0.76 seconds. Now if I simply go by the dictionary meaning…umm which dictionary do I even use?! Every dictionary, book, article takes me in a different direction of thought process.
I have been taught the definition of science, definition of the gravitational law, definition of war…but unfortunately, I have never been taught what does love mean, in my 20 something years of intense formal education. Have you?
2. When does love become too much?
I know that when there are 2 atoms of Hydrogen and 1 atom of Oxygen, it becomes water. Not too much and not too little of this proportion is acceptable.
I know that the square of a hypotenuse is exactly equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides. Not a cube of a hypotenuse or a product of the squares. It will be that exact result.
I know that the total costs deducted from the total revenue will give me my exact surplus or deficit. Not the other way round, not the partial costs but the very exact figures will give me the exact surplus or deficit result.
Does love have a formula too? Can I equate it with some metrics or find some way of rationalising the proportion? I have been accused of too much and too little love for one and not enough for other. I have equated it with time, effort, gifts, thinking and multiple other metrics. What is the right answer? Unfortunately, I have never been taught this in my 20 something years of intense formal education. Have you?
3. How do I know when I am in love?
I met someone and felt the tickle down my spine. He was on my mind constantly. We were having a good time together. I laughed a lot and blushed a lot. Is this love or lust or infatuation? Is this not love? But I thought the other person I was with was love too? I was pretty sure then too? Oh so I can love again? How can I be sure this time? Will music start playing and my arms spread out and I zone out into a dance sequence in the midst of some Swiss mountains? How do I know when I am in love?
It feels great when I am dancing on the stage. But I also feel a rush when I close a profitable deal at work with my client. Its the same rush? No. Yes. Maybe. Is this love? Do I love my job or do I love my hobby? Should I not just do what I love? But what do I love more? Is it even love or just something I enjoy? What about days I dont enjoy it? How do I know I am truely loving what I do?
Unfortunately, I have never been taught how to know when I am in love, in my 20 something years of intense formal education. Have you?
4. Is it possible to have a break-up but not be heartbroken?
I thought I was in love with my boyfriend. Oh! But that ended..I cried. But I got over it. Did I not love him then? If I loved him how could I love someone else? Can I love some else again? Am I still scarred? How can I be sure if I am or I am not? How many break-ups can I handle with my jobs, with my partners? When is it enough? When do I walk away? Unfortunately, I have never been taught this in my 20 something years of intense formal education. Have you?
5. How & Where to look for love?
Looking for a meaning of a new word? Look in the dictionary. I was taught this when I was 4. Looking for the number of states in my country? Look on the map. I was taught this when I was 6. Looking for a successful career in Medicine? Look for the best colleges that teach medicine. I was taught this when I was 12. Almost everything I have in my life, I have been formally or informally taught how & where to look it.
I am single. So I am often told I need to find someone to marry. How can I look for something I have no idea how he looks, where he is, if he is? Register on dating apps, on matrimonial sites, send out the search squad relatives with your prettiest pictures or hook up with the stranger at the pub..it could all lead me to someone I love apparently.
But why love just that person? Does that mean I don’t love the others? Why do I feel strongly for just one person? Can I not just pick a frog and kiss him to be a prince? How many frogs can I kiss before I find ‘the one’ prince? Is there ‘a one’? Should I wait for some soulmate? Are there soulmates? How can I explain loving 1 person for everything they are? Can I hate things about them then? If I love and hate things about them, then why them and not someone else? Can I not just love my family? Can I marry my job? Why marry? Why to look when I am doing fine without it? Where to look for love that will last forever and be happily ever after? Is that ever possible?…
But unfortunately, I have never been taught this in my 20 something years of intense formal education. Have you?
I am not saying you have not found answers to these. You might be the ultimate love Guru who has put all the pieces of the puzzle together. However, just for a few minutes lets think about all the hours, days, weeks, months, even years that we have put into trying to get our head around love compared to the number of hours spent in formally learning about it. Our education system teaches us nothing about love whereas love is the most fundamental experience in all aspects of our lives.. so I am told! Doesn’t the ratio of time spent feel twisted and irrational when we spend 20 something years in building a professional profile with no formal emotional education what so ever? Doesn’t it feel twisted that all of our learning around love is from trial and error or purely by observation of our near and dear ones?
As per me, I am not a master in it clearly, but I am willing to take a weekend out to Rise in Love and learn all about it. One weekend for a lifetime of learning about something I have never really formally learnt about and have never had the space, opportunity, platform to learn about – feels too fundamentally crucial and everything else feels like a worthy opportunity cost.
Let us find ways to systematically empower ourself with the knowledge of love because deep inside most (if not all) people are scarred from some trial and error learning process with variety of aspects of our lives dealing with the topic of love. Let us do our loved ones and everything we love in our lives a simple favour by doing this. Come on! We can together make this world a much better place to live in, to love in!