OpEd: What Is Love?

Copyright 2013 by Trish Causey.

"Lovers Card" from Archeon TarotFor my 222nd post, I’m approaching the topic that confounds writers and mere mortals alike:  LOVE.

Why now?  As I said, this is Post #222, and in numerology this has some significance.  222 reduced is 6, which is the Lovers’ card in the Major Arcana of the Tarot.  What many people do not realize is that the Lovers card is not about true love, but about a union — that might be love, but also could be a friendship, a congenial business partnership, or something nice coming into your present situation.

In the Tarot, the real true love card is the 2 of Cups.  The Cups suit embodies emotion, and the 2 signifies two people coming together in deep, true love.

The problem with love is that most people confuse “in love” with lust (the chemical reaction in the brain to pheromones bouncing off each other’s skin) and rate “real love” according to the size of a status-symbol ring chained to a religious-fabricated commitment that is unrealistic for most human mammals.

Poets have expounded upon the premise of love for millennia, usually with the caveat, “I’ll love you until the heavens fall and the oceans dry up… or a meteor hits the earth and we’re all obliterated from time and space….”  Essentially, the Romantics clocked love’s ability to withstand natural disasters about as well as the Gulf handles Category 5 hurricanes.

In our society, we freely say how much we love our stuff.  “I love my house.”  “I love my car.”  “I love that TV show.” “I love that dress!”  “I love those SHOES!!!”  “I love chocolate.”  “I love my dog.”  “I love my squirrel!”

By the time we get around to saying “I love you,” the concept of love now has a price tag and a sense of status in the physical world that has nothing to do with the emotion itself.

Other languages have certain customs for using their version of the word “love,” usually with other options for expressing affection of friends, possessions, and familial loved ones separate from the word that intends to express true, deep love.  American English kinda sucks.

Our American language is lacking not only because of lexicon and syntax but also because our culture is taught to use “love” as leverage, as a bargaining chip, to get the upper hand, to force our partner into emotional submission and thereby gain superiority within the relationship.  Love becomes a game.  Later, love becomes a contest.  That no one can win.

Then come the ultimatums. “IF YOU LOVED ME, you would __(fill in the blank to complete emotional blackmail)__.”

Blinded by the brainwashing of our materialistic society and the fantasy world of romance novels and films, most people are clueless how to truly love another person in a relate-tionship.  That is, a partnership in which two people actively relate to each other.

Love is energy.  Just like orgasms…..  Love is free…. just like orgasms……….  Love is endless and constantly giving……………. just like orgasms.

Love is not thought.  Love is not construct.  Love is not rational.

Love does not have a schedule.

Love is intangible and immeasurable.  Love is unconditional.

Love is easy.

I’ve read that it takes 2.5 years for “in love” to mature to “love-love.”  Basically, you wait to see if your emotional selves have created a bond now that your lusty pheromones are immune to each other… the way bugs become immune to Raid.

I don’t see any reason for the passion ever to leave a relationship, but for many couples, the passion does fade.  What is it that is left?  Why stay with someone you are not passionately “in love” for “real love-love” with?  Fear of being alone?  Financial collapse if you strike out on your own?

Love is not fear.  Love is not financial security.

Love is never a choice.  You feel love in your heart and soul, or you don’t.  You can’t fake it.

Love does not have an on/off switch.

You can choose to be with a good person or a bad person, but your heart decides for you if you love that person or not.  However, real love is never abusive.  No one who truly loves you would demean you or want to conquer you.

Love is not about being right.  Or winning an argument.

Love is not a skin color or ethnicity.  Love is not conditioned on gender or genitals.  Love is not a demographic.

Love is not a piece of paper signed by a minister.  Love is not a ring.  Love is not “the dress.”

For all the media and marketing hype that surrounds sex and success in our culture, we are, ultimately, love-starved.  We don’t actually know what love is.

Love is connection.  Love is deep.  Love is spiritual.

Love is limitless.  Love is universal.

This is why it is so difficult to explain love, to understand what we do for love when we’re in love-love.  To compare love to a summer’s day or a tree, or a mountain, or the sky, is the best we mortals can do to express the energy that exemplifies “the little death” of a billion stars exploding gloriously into complete expansiveness… all from within our heart.

Love is beautiful.

Love is energy.

The truth is

Love is

All there is.