Love is something that means very different things to different people. For some, love can be purely romantic, or even purely sexual. For others, real love is utterly unconditional and only truly exists between family members, or between people and a deity. And for some people, love is fluid, ever changing, and everywhere, and is felt for family, friends, partners, pets, and even inanimate objects, dead artists, and fictional characters. None of these people would be right or wrong, but one thing is certain: love is the most powerful force in the entire universe. Between partners of any description, be they married or, boyfriend and girlfriend, straight or gay, young or old, love is a relationship of mutual understanding and respect. Marriages and partnerships are often built on common ground that people find when they first meet; this can be as deep as sharing religious, philosophical or religious beliefs, or as simple as finding that you love the same film, book, or band.
This kind of love is often reliant on some kind of ‘chemistry’: that strange feeling that they give you in the pit of your stomach, and the feeling that nothing in the world is more important to you than enjoying the moment you’re in together. Some people feel that they experience love at first sight, where they know from the minute they set eyes on each other that they want to be with that person, but something built on common interests and understanding must be stronger. It is the strength of this feeling that makes love the most powerful emotion that most of us will ever experience. People can do some dreadful things out of hate and fear, but love can push us to do much, much worse. And it is often love that can cause us to hate, whether it’s out of jealousy, or anger because our loved one has been hurt. Love, ultimately, is a sacrifice, whatever the relationship, and it must be the most powerful force in the universe because as human beings, we make true sacrifices for nothing less. Love is a very special and meaningful word to each human being.
Each human being has his/her own thoughts about love to guide himself/herself to land safely and smoothly into the kingdom of Love. Without this preconceived idea of love, people would be acting like a blind person searching for the light with thousand of obstacles in front. I know this question exists in each human being’s mind including myself. If not it is still waiting to be discovered deeply in your heart. What do I think of love? For me, I believe love is a priceless diamond, because a diamond has thousands of reflections, and each reflection represents a meaning of love. With love I can accept a person’s imperfections without any condition, and able to transfer the way I love myself to another person who I am fancy at. With love I can have the power against loneliness, sadness, and illness, and to be able to change them into my happiness. As well as, having a key to open my heart to look at this world without a mask, to show people who I really am. But on the other hand, my love cannot be a substitute for anything, which means nothing can be substituted for my love.
It also means those reflections of the diamond cannot be replaced by any kind of light or reflection, because the untrue reflection will not be a real diamond, and will not be able to spread out its resplendent and meaningful reflection of love to people about whom I care. Most of us act as though we know what it is without truly understanding its meaning and essence. This has been true of me. Before I encountered this phenomenology of love, I already had experiences of loving other people – my family, my friends, and girlfriends past and present. However, I was belonged to the people whom Erich Fromm described as believing in the popular notion of love. I emphasized the characteristics of the people I loved, why I needed them, and I mostly demanded that they love me more than I demanded myself to love them. My concept love was shallow. Yes, I felt it, but I knew it not. However, all that changed when I came across the phenomenology of love.
It was an articulation of fundamental characteristics of love which I knew my heart was saying but my mind was incapable of putting into words. When I was reading the said phenomenology, I constantly had that weird feeling of realizing something and relating to it strongly with past experiences. I strongly agree with it. Indeed, love begins with the experience of loneliness and then grows as someone reaches out lovingly to the other. I also experienced that, but did not know its meaning in relation to the love I had. Indeed, in loving others, I always sought their love too, in the same or in even greater measure than that which I gave them. But I realized with the phenomenology that it is alright to feel that way and wish for the same, but that it should not be the motivation in my loving act. But what struck me the most was the statement that when we “love” someone without knowing our true worth, we are like making them trash bins to whom we throw ourselves. Because of this and the entirety of the phenomenology of love, I learned what loving is truly all about. Indeed, it’s a many-splendored thing.