What Is Love?

What is love? We all feel it, but can you articulate it? Is the way I love the same as they way you love? Are we even feeling the same thing? I used to think that love was loving how someone made you feel. I love you because I like myself around you, and I love how you make me feel about me. It was hard for me to divorce love from the self, because from my understanding love always came back to the individual experience of it.

But maybe that was because I was trying to lump love into one basic understanding. We as a western culture can love cupcakes, iphones, and our parents. But is using the same word for such a variety of actual emotions accurate? Well… cupcakes and iphones are pretty awesome, sorry mom and dad… but you get what I am saying.

The Ancient Greeks had four different words for love, and in Sanskrit there were 96. Obviously those ancients had a lot of loving going on, and were much more attuned to the nuances. I like the idea that love has many different gradations, flavors, and intensities, with each type of love inspiring a unique word to describe it. The more flexible our definition of love, the more capable we become of understanding the difference between self-involved love, and the ultimate unconditional love. Both are forms of love, but only one will make you absolutely and consistently happy.

During a yoga class it was said that from the Buddhist perspective, love is wanting another person to truly be happy. I found this to incredibly relevant and poetic. That desire for another person’s ultimate joy, is the kind of love I want to engage in most. It is not about what that person does for you, how they make you feel, or if they buy you stuff. It is about loving someone so much, that no matter what, all you really want from them is to be happy. That is how I feel about The Munch…