The Greeks had eight different definitions for love, and yet this remains the most complicated human emotion. Today, science can point to the exact location of the brain that triggers the neurons when these feelings arise. Love has the potential to survive, however, how we experience and define love, can change and mature over time.
So, how does one love? How does being loved feels like? What is unconditional love? Questions that have both haunted and intrigued me. In a classic way of the universe doling out lessons, my own pursuit for finding unconditional love has led me to practice this first hand along with turning me into a strong believer of ‘be careful what you wish for’.
I still love the people I’ve loved, even if I cross the street to avoid them.Uma Thurman
Familial love has its own traps. The deepest hurts are caused by the bonds of blood. It has the capacity to maim and defeat any hints of hope that might survive the enduring allure of adolescent infatuations. At best, it is transactional, on most levels. The consciousness required to operate from a place of forgiveness and understanding becomes available, only when viewing them as just humans dancing to the tunes of their own Maya. Distances must be maintained for such relationships to survive. When expectations are dropped, only loves remain.
Unconditional love is rare. If it arrives, the single most important thing that must be done is to cherish it. Holding onto such love, makes it disappear. When eros and philia can transform into agape and pragma, that is the zenith of unconditional love. The novelist Paulo Coelho said, “One is loved because one is loved; no reason is needed for loving”. An expression of love never guarantees a reciprocation of love. Accepting this is liberating.
We are nothing without love.Socrates
Respecting another’s agency and volition requires self-transcendence. In this state, love transforms into something so pure that another’s mere existence is sufficient. The will to desire dissolves and becomes a part of your being. Seeing the person of your affections with another, doing the things you once did together and genuinely feeling happy for them is something that can only be experienced when love has no expectations. In this form, love becomes a prayer that leaves your lips each moment of each day.
When love transforms into a prayer, it becomes pure and divine remaining untouched and unadulterated. Giving without receiving, flows naturally. Reciprocity becomes redundant. The richness of love becomes a blessing itself. There arises a deeper appreciation of life that you are capable of loving in ways very few people get to experience. You become part of the living, breathing, art and philosophy of life. If someone makes your heart happy, ensure to make them happier. Sometimes, that happiness means you not being in their life, but pouring your love in all the ways you can. Love until it hurts, then there won’t be any more hurt, just more love. The eventual transcendental love.