This article would slightly differ from what we usually discuss here. But this would fall into the category of leading a meaningful life. From this article onward I will be posting categorized articles. I titled it as boulevard of love since what I’m after here is to decrypt some misconceptions people would normally posses about love relations. This post is a result of my latest reading and experiment with life which is love. Please don’t confuse it with just a romantic love but it encompasses the universal feeling of love. What I talk here is true for every kind of relationships. A love among the partners, a love among the family, a love between a mother and a child and even the love among the strangers who met at a cafe. I can’t wait to tell you about it and some meaningful insights I have found about love! So let’s jump into it.
What is a Genuine Love?
Everything evolves as something simple and gradually expand into a large realm which it couldn’t have imagined at the beginning.
The beginning was simple.
Simply an instinct to feel connected.
A feeling to stay together.
So that the big bang happened and the stars and the planets came closer.
Now the planets have evolved and here the challenge comes. It has to sustain for a longer time. There is no such big bang energy which was felt at the beginning.
So what the universe have decided was to constructively distribute the energy which it was left with, for the survival of all the planets and stars. So the stars constructively take care of the planets and planets make sure they are around the stars all the time.
I know this example was a vague-superficial idea to talk about love.
But if you dig deeper into it, you could find that is how a genuine love would happen.
Let me explain it for you!
Love is Not a Feeling!
This is a major misconception people would follow when they feel like they are in love! Feeling for love is an instinct just like the universe had -to produce a big bang collision. We could all find that there is feeling for love when we are at the beginning of a relationship or may be not even grown into a relationship at all.
The problem is not having such a feel. A feeling can be a normal thing.
But the problem arises from when people begins to react to such feeling.
The reason is when you react, the end product is always an unloving and destructive experience. Also feeling is a finite resource you can depend on while committing to a relationship. That won’t sustain in the long run. At the end when you do lack such a feeling, you would probably end the love relationship.
So what would a genuine love would feel like?
A genuine love is an action. An activity. To be more clear something that develops with constructive and conscious action. A genuinely loving individual would take loving as a constructive action toward a person even if he or she consciously dislikes.
Scott M Peck in his classic self help book the Road Less Travelled mention the feeling of love as an outcome something he calls as “the experience of cathecting”.
As he says, cathecting is the process by which an object becomes important to us. Such an object is called cathected object.
Once we love something we invest our energy into it as if it was a part of ourselves.
But people confuse love with cathecting. Both are different.
Cathecting does not involves the spiritual growth of the object it is cathected to.
A person could feel cathecting to a stock market, a gold ornament or anything else!
If someone marry a cathected wife he actually fears the spiritual development of his wife. He doesn’t aim at the spiritual development of his wife to whom he felt a love which was originally a cathecting.
The same happens for a mother and son. Consider a mother who is insisted upon driving her adolescent boy to the college. She is clearly cathected to her son- he is important to her but she doesn’t care for the spiritual development of him.
Love is an Exercise of Wisdom!
Why love should involve an exercise of wisdom?
As I have mentioned earlier, genuine love involves the spiritual growth of the loved one.
When we look forward into such an attempt for spiritual growth of our beloved one, lack of commitment would fail us. So commitment is the cornerstone of a love relation.
Commitment itself means that you are committed even if you don’t feel the feeling.
It is when couples fall out of their initial mating instinct, their love is being really tested.
The keyword at this point is “will”.
A will to love, a commitment to love is still stands and exercised.
This is where we can define love as
a will to extend oneself for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.
This is where a love becomes an action rather than an initial emotional experience.
Exercising love in terms of will and spiritual growth would help us avoid the difficulty of searching for love in one’s actions.
Finally, love can be pure if it’s subjective rather than simply objective and just emotional.
PS: This post is dedicated to someone I’m committed with a will to love for nurturing the spiritual growth of that person.