Understanding Love


What is love? The word is so encapsulating, it can only be distinguished through context. We know if a parent tells their child “I love you”, it is evident it is an unconditional and parental love being shown. If in a developing romantic relationship, your partner tells you “I love you”, we can be fairly certain it is in a romantic dimension, and not a parental kind of love.

But what if the context is cloudy? What if you’re getting along with a person – and you know there is love – but have no idea what kind of love? Or you know you have romantic interests in a person, but are uncertain where they stand. The word love here becomes fuzzy, and in these situations people can find themselves in societal limbo as they risk their relationship with a person, on high hopes they feel the same way. Both parties can express love for the other, but mean completely different things.

This one word approach works in a clear contextual situation, but lacks distinction in cloudy situations. The same word is used to explain your feelings to an important person in one’s life, a doughnut you can’t get enough of, or a traffic cone you may find on a drunken stumble home after a night out. How are we able to navigate such a dominant part of our lives, without the dynamic language to communicate it?

Imagine trying to explain to someone what a sunflower looked like, but you only had the word “flower” to explain it. If you could show the person contextually, they would get it immediately. But explaining it without the name can cause confusion:

“Yeah its a flower, it has yellow petals and a brown centre”

We can explain it and get the point across, but it takes longer, and could even be mistaken for something else like a Gloriosa daisy.

In Sanskrit, they have 90+ words for love. Tamil has 50+. In Greek, they have 3 main words for love; Eros, Ludus and Storge. In between these pillars are 3 more words that sit in between; Pragma, Agape and Mania.

Ludus is any kind of love that is playful or flirtatious. It reveals itself through having fun with each other.

Eros is a romantic kind of love, linked to the dopamine system. This is an exciting and sexual dominion that creates adventure and strong emotional connections.

Storge is a familial love – the type of love you would show to your child or parents.

Agape is the closest of these descriptions to the source essence of love. It is an unconditional love that is altruistic in nature. You view the people around you as blessings and want the best for them – often giving out more love than receiving.

Pragma is a practical love, served out of convenience and service. There is often not much romance attached to this.

A crucial distinction between these expressions is volition. Are you acting out of fear or love? You can notice that the majority of these definitions are based on the emotions you feel after an experience with someone. The vibratory essence of love sits on a spectrum between fear and love. If expressed with fear, it is filtered – attached with programming from past traumas and events.

A person or persons acting out of fear or lack can enter a state of Mania. Instead of being a true expression of love, it is a reactionary state from fear. This changes the internal state of a person and can influence them in a way they think the only way they are complete is with the other person. There is no doubt this person is in love – but the source of their feelings comes from fear, and is always sabotaging.

These are more tools for identifying your state of love with a person, rather than the source essence of love itself. The closest to source love from the list above is Agape. Unconditional, unfiltered love. Everything is a blessing and completely selfless, attained in its purest form when you love yourself.

Depression and loneliness are so prevalent now, and whilst there are numerous factors that contribute to this (social media, loss of an ideal, etc), our inability to navigate what is so close to all of us – and arguably the most important essence of the universe – love, leaves us in confusion and lack.

The true expression of a love comes when your intention is from love – devoid from fear. When you tell your partner you love them for the first time, you have an overwhelming feeling of pure love for this person – followed quickly by fear. Fear they don’t love you back. When they tell you they love you too, then the emotions of love come rushing back. The fear we feel in moments like this can last as long as you consciously choose to.

So what is the solution? Do we need to educate ourselves with more words, so we can communicate our feelings better? It would clear a lot of the fog away when navigating relationships. But the core fundamental issue at play is the love we show to ourselves.

Self-love is the gravitational force that binds all aspects of love and allows you to play the spectrum with freedom – exploring and understanding yourself to a point where the semantics don’t matter. You express who you are unfiltered and let the world respond accordingly.

Loving yourself lays the foundation for the fountain of infinite love to pour out of you. Without this, all love can become validatory or a blind reach to fulfil your needs. It can stem into areas of codependency, lust, obsession, possession or all at once.

All types of love (and fears) are emotions, they are felt not spoken. Language gives us a way of describing an emotion to some extent, but the essence of the experience is lost in translation when spoken. If we all strive to be who we know we should be, the semantics wouldn’t be as detrimental as they are.

But we are struggling as a species to love ourselves. So having more ways of bending our language to communicate more efficiently would be a good step in getting us into firmer grounds regarding communication about love, but only in conjunction with awareness.

One response to “Understanding Love”

  1. enlightenedatom avatar

    Very interesting post.. it is true that we as human beings perceive love in different ways depending on the situation (love for pizza, love for a kid, love for your partner), and it is also true that, especially for romantic situations, not exactly knowing what ‘kind” of love the other person is feeling could be unsettling. But I do not think that the solution comes from how many words we create to describe the different kind of love.
    We all come from pure love, love is the source. Love is what there is now, in this moment, and always, it is One. It is the purest form of experience because it is not subject to duality, is it not subject external 3d experience, it is not subject to what happens out there in our daily life. ”I am not sure if my partner loves me the exact way I also do..” there is obviously fear in this assumption..so there is a detachment from pure love.. pure love doesn’t even care to what exact extent the other person loves back, it just loves! Love is a high, the highest, of frequencies. When everything else related to the 3D vanishes, including survival mechanisms, fears, unhealth attachments, childhood programming etc, all there is left is ..love. And mind you, a person may think they truly love you and they may say it, but because they did not really know what love is or did any kind of self love they confuse dependency or trauma bonding with love. So, sometimes using the right terminology does not really solve the problem.
    So we have touched on the real topic that needs to be addressed.. self love. What is self love? Self love is first of all understanding what love is, and then become it (or return to being it, in a way). How do you do it? there is the path to self love. A person should start by deeply understanding herself, become aware of her thoughts, become aware of how she acts, become aware of how she speaks, become aware of her deepest fears, of what holds her back from being the best version of herself. This requires reprogramming work and meditation. Once a person has addressed all of that, she will see that the only thing left is love, there is nothing else! And you can start creating your reality free from all the programming… and when you love yourself deeply and when you understand that you can create reality, you will just know when there is love and what kind…you will be able, thanks to all the work you did, to identify true love from fear, which is best represented through unhealthy attachment, and you will be free to communicate whatever you want, create whatever you want, and to walk away if the situation is not what you truly want, in total love and peace. Some experiences cannot really be described with words, and maybe there is no need, as it is an internal experience, it is a knowing that comes from within…it is in you and all around you..


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