LOVE: A Mood, A Delusion or a Chemical Reaction

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Love, a wondrous thing, or is it?

What really is Love? An emotion, a concept, an excuse, a chemical reaction, or just a delusion. Love is a mystery, there is no solid definition for it even if one exists in dictionaries, internets, movies, or poems. The concept is so diverse and spread over the years, evolving and mutating, with no connection to its pure, simple, sweet origin. The topic has been pondered upon by romantics, writers, and even scientists, trying to understand it. As Susan Santong quoted in her article As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980:
Nothing is mysterious, no human relation. Except for love.

I believe Love is misunderstood and confused with other emotions and beliefs. Some negative affiliations to these emotions are even connected to mental disorders. In its true form, love is an emotion, a set of behaviours and beliefs that is filled with a sense of warmth, affection, and comfort that encourages positive connection and commitment to an object, person, belief, or situation. You can love your religion, your favourite dress, your cat, your coffee, your husband; there is no restriction. However, it cannot be mixed with lust, obsession, desire or jealousy. No feeling or action that takes negative precedence over positive is love. 

Photo by Prithivi Rajan

What is Love and what is not Love

Love is generous and free-flowing

It has no expectations because all it knows is to give everything. It is not demanding or restricted. Giving gifts to your loved ones and expecting them to say thank you or to give you something equally if not more precious in return is not love. When you give without expectations, you are already full.

Love is not hurtful; it is kind and caring

Hurting someone and calling it love is a lie. This is just an excuse used by those who are possessive and need control, a common trait in sociopaths, narcissists, and toxic people. They mostly end up in abusive relationships with their partners, be it emotional, physical, or mental. Unfortunately, love as the pain has been glamorized for centuries, but this negative construction of love should be anything but normalized. Hurting or making someone suffer with words or force is wrong and cannot be associated with love.

Love is Communication, Love is Understanding

Love is blind means having blind trust in the one you love. Love is unfiltered. Being full of doubt, not being open with each other, not being able to discuss most things, and being cautious is fatal to any relationship; it will never bring happiness, only despair. Don't be fearful; talk it out, being transparent and honest because love overcomes all.

Love is Attention, Love is Space

Giving someone your undivided attention does not mean you are not allowing them to breathe. Love is vast; it doesn’t need to be with the person they love as the connection, if strong, can never be severed despite the distance or circumstances. Have faith, let go; it is true love and will be there no matter what.
 

Love is imperfect

You don’t need to change to be loved. There is no ideal, no formula for a lovable self. You are who you are, and the ones who accept you with your beauty and flaws are the ones who truly love you. Not being able to overcome this is a projection of insecurities and unrealistic beliefs, not love.

Love is admirable; love is respectful

Being obsessed with someone and the desire to want them is not Love. There is no ownership in love; it is based on mutual positive connection, not a craze to win someone like a trophy. That is disrespectful as well as discriminating. The ones who truly love you will always support you, want you to be happy, and do what is best for you. They will unconditionally think of you first out of love, not the other way round.

Love is already complete

You don’t need to feel empty without anyone when you were never empty. You are unique; true love begins with yourself, so you are already complete. Love is a bonus and does not require codependency. You find compatibility with the ones you love and move forward. As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry explains in Airman’s Odyssey: Night Flight / Wind Sand & Stars / Flight to Arras: “Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction”

Love is more than just a Chemical Reaction

Sure, there may be studies that Love may be an outcome of the production of several hormones which affect our emotions and feelings, which can be defined as Love, but there is more to the story. Oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin are sometimes referred to as “happy hormones.” These hormones are associated with love because when you feel attracted to someone (or something), your brain releases dopamine, your serotonin levels increase, and oxytocin is also produced. Altogether this leads to a surge of positive emotion. Love, however, is more than just excited hormones because loving your first cup of coffee would never give you the same depth of feelings or emotions as being with the one you love. 
There are many other variables involved, and most are already listed above.

So, you see, love is not bound; it is selfless, all-forgiving, unconditional, and everlasting. In its purest form, it is simple. You just need to feel it freely and not complicate or restrict it. I would like to end with these beautiful words by Blaise Pascal:

“The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know… We know the truth, not only by the reason but also by the heart.”

NOTE: This article was originally published in pnkandco.com, a lifestyle and entertainment website currently on hiatus.



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