So What Is Love?

Well consistently this self same question is at the top or very near to the top of all Google searches. It is one of the questions that I have been asking myself for quite a long time now, I can tell you what the Bible says about love, It is full of references to love, Many different kinds of love are referred to, Eros, Agape and Philos.  I have experienced and lived all three kinds of love.  Some forms of love are much easier to demonstrate and to articulate than others.  Agape love is often demonstrated, a recent example is the hostage siege in Sydney where Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson laid down their lives for other peoples.  Whilst I have experienced situations where I have stepped into dangerous situations on behalf of other people it has been nothing like that kind of a situation.

Philos love, a unique kind of love you have for a friend. It refers to loving one another just like your brother or sister. It is characterized by various different shared experiences between two people. Philos love is really wonderful, it however can easily sour, as I have experienced recently, when good friends go bad… enough said about that.  I can understand it in some ways, accept it, well not really, not any more, a consequence of that has been a sense of separation and distance and an unwillingness to open myself up to a kind of situation where that kind of betrayal can occurr in my life anymore. This I recognise is problematic, it has put up barriers in my life that possibly transcend Philos and even perhaps Agape love, but the impact above all else is on Eros.  Eros the stuff that builds and maintains relationships.

One of the questions for me is how does love turn on and off, how do you stop loving someone? Is there only one great love in our lives?  What happens when the other person does not, cannot reciprocate that? Philos is relatively easy to extinguish, a breach of trust does it pretty quickly, but for me even after that has occurred, Agape love remains, I know that should the situation arise I would do what I can for most anybody  (the curse of being hard-wired to care.  But enough of that here.  The question for me lies in the field of Eros.  Eros is a self fulfilling kind of love, and in itself it cannot sustain a relationship.  Desire and longing, physical things are great,however there needs to be more in a relationship to sustain anything on a long term basis.  I have no issues with Agape, it comes relatively easily for me even after being hurt.  Philos however, well I have learnt to keep myself from being exposed to hurt.  Mostly by not exposing who I am beyond a relatively shallow level.

Here on my blog site I am quite open in many ways, brutally honest however there is another level that remains unseen. Unpeeled perhaps?  Self preservation in action?  I cannot really tell you just yet what it is.  How are you, a question often asked,but often not really answered after all who really wants to hear the answer, well actually right at this moment I don’t know how to go on, I am broken, I am not good, tears start to flow…..  Perhaps on the first or the second occasion one remains interested but for most people it is difficult to handle such openness without wanting to fix whatever is wrong, or even worse wanting to tell people it is ok, things will get better, but the reality is sometimes things just are and not fixable.

I know about the stages of grief and have experienced grief around death and loss, I wander perhaps am I just processing a loss at times, perhaps.  I wonder if perhaps I am just being self protective? Or maybe there is no answer. you see the biggest problem in all this is not so much as what I do to me rather but what it can do to others, that is the awfulness of it all.  That is what I cannot handle above all else, and it is what I so dislike.  You see love is intentional and one can choose to love or not to love, so when one chooses not to love it is a matter of choice and then in choosing not to love one being deliberate, this choice however is at the heart of life, of all relationships and it emphasises my own imperfection and brokeness as well as the worlds.  In choosing not to love I see how no matter what it looks like I am not a “good” man. Further more, in isolating myself and withdrawing from truth being risk adverse then I put in jeopardy the very things that I want so much in life.  As M Scott peck says “There can be no vulnerability without risk; there can be no community without vulnerability; there can be no peace, and ultimately no life, without community.”

I guess for now my blog is my risk and my honesty in here is my vulnerability.  My heart on my sleeve as it were.But hen again it can all change in an instant.

I want to finish on a positive note but right now all I can think of is trite nonsense.

Perhaps this will do,

Shalom,

Paul

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One response to “So What Is Love?

  1. Pingback: One great love, really? | Falling Softly Words From The Heart

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