Love is a concept that we learn and believe we know from a very young age. My three year old daughter expresses her love for me, her father, the animals and the flowers daily. How does she know what love is? Perhaps for her it means a sense of connection, peace and beauty, a valid use of the word. There are undoubtedly many forms and phases of love. Love is quite an overworked word actually, it could have numerous subordinate or separate words to more precisely label what kind of love one is referring to when one uses the word “love”.
Lets have a quick look at alternate words, concepts and feelings that relate to love home depot health check. There is parental love, sibling love, a love of humanity, a feeling of empathy, respect, affection, pleasure, care, passion, lust, delight, endearment, appreciation, adoration, charity, sympathy, concern, a taste for, a yearning for, infatuation, devotion, worship and attachment. Some are more general and can relate to either animate or inanimate objects. Mostly we have a complex combination of these feelings towards people that we have a relationship with and rather than accurately defining and expressing these feelings, it’s much easier to just say that we love them.
For the purpose of this article I’ll be exploring the adult heterosexual relationship and the forms of love that occur after childhood and probably before menopause, as this is probably the most relevant for anyone researching this topic. If we are striving for long term relationships that work, we need to identify healthy verses toxic forms of love and see how this relates to our current and prospective relationships.
It is very possible that we all have a different internal idea of what love is and most of us have a challenging time expressing just what particular type of love we have for a person. It is true that our ideas about love are shaped at a very young age and it does influence us walking into adulthood, as various psychoanalysts would testify to. We may also become stuck in an immature concept of love due to past events and our reactions to them. Subjectively and objectively, one persons idea of what kind of love is appropriate for a particular relationship, may be too little or too much for the other person involved.
Childhood and Love
We start off with the maternal love that you received as a baby, followed presumably by paternal and family love. Some of us had very little or perhaps skewed ideals of love from our parents and family. Perhaps we felt smothered or even neglected during childhood. We grew up as a young child within a family unit or with representatives thereof, and varying degrees of social influences and perceived expectations. We developed various friendships and other relationships that formed and shaped us too, leading us into our hormone rampant teenage-hood where we probably rediscovered and redefined our concept of love with the opposite sex. This was the first autonomous expression and idea of love relationships we projected into the world, that is why we can have a hard time moving on from our “first love”.
The culture doesn’t help us much with fairy stories of women being saved by knights in shining armor, falling instantly in love, with very little courtship, immediate marriage with no mention of careers or financial concerns, leaving us with absolutely no clue as to what happens after “… happily ever after”. It would seem that life stories end in marriage and for some it sort of does. Images bombard us from advertising, and other media and that mostly have very little to do with reality and true life scenarios, creating a personal collection of false experience that can effect our behavior within relationships.
If you, like so many of us on this imperfect planet, had a rough childhood, the advice I would give is to trust in your innate goodness and truth. Make it shine through your actions, let your true intent lead you. We all come into this world though an experience of love or connection, we were all equal and innocent at birth and this innate sense of love is always available to each one of us when we are open to it.
If your parents were emotionally immature, you may have felt responsible for one or both of them, though this was not really your role to play as the child. Adopt only the best attributes of your parents and significant role models as your own. Believe that your parents did the best they could, as they themselves were challenged by their own disposition and/or wounds through societal or personal flaws. Forgive them and be better than them, for you are the latest genetic model! You have the right to be your own person with your own values based on your unique experience of life. Take charge of your individual ideas of love and commitment. Own the responsibility for yourself.
Life is a continual learning process. Learn like a child does, without judgment of oneself and through experimentation. Sometimes we are misunderstood, if your attempts to clarify are in vain, it may not be solvable and you should let go of having to over express yourself, this attachment to justifying oneself can also be destructive, especially if the other person is addicted to seeking out your positive or negative attention. There are some relationships and aspects of ideal relationships that one has to let go of in order to soldier forth with dignity and integrity in life.