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What is love?

The Essence of Love: A Deep Dive Into Its Mysteries

By ShinosukePublished about a month ago 5 min read
What is love?
Photo by micheile henderson on Unsplash

What is love? Seriously, though, what is it? What is love? A verb? A noun? A universal truth? An ideal? A common thread of all religions? A cult? A neurological phenomenon? There's no shortage of answers. Some are all-encompassing. It conquers all. It's all you need. It's all there is. These are all comparisons, though, ways of defining it by contrast, by saying it's more important than all other things, but is it? Sure, love matters more than your standard turkey sandwich, but does it matter more than shelter? Or sanity? Or an exceptional turkey sandwich? No matter your answer, you're just ranking it, not defining it. Another challenge to defining love is we often try to do so while falling into it or out of it. Would you trust someone who just won the lottery to accurately define the concept of currency? Or, I don't know, ask a guy to define bears while he's fending them off? Or is romance not like winning the lottery? Are break ups not like bear attacks? Bad comparisons? That's my point. I'm not thinking right because I'm in love, so ha! Taking a step back, or taking a cold shower, whatever, love is potentially the most intensely thought about thing in all of human history. And despite centuries upon centuries of obsession, it still overwhelms us. Some say it's a feeling, a magical emotion, a feeling for someone like you've never felt before. But feelings are fluid, not very concrete foundation for a definition. Sometimes you hate the person you love. Plus, come on, you've felt feelings like it before, sort of in miniature. Your relationships with your family shape your relationships with partners. And your love for your partner may be in its own dynamic relationship, healthy or totally weird, with the love of your parents and siblings. Love is also a set of behaviors we associate with the feeling: Holding hands, kissing, hugging, public displays of affection, dating, marriage, having kids, or just sex. But these loving actions can be subjective or culturally relative. You may love or be someone who can't have kids or doesn't want to, who believes in marriage but also in divorce, who's from a culture where people don't really date the way we think of dating, or who just doesn't want to make out on the bus. But if love is a thing that we can define, then how can it mean opposite things for so many people? So, maybe love's just all in your head, a personal mystery winding through your neural pathways and lighting up pleasing, natural rewards in your nervous system. Perhaps these rewards are addictive. Perhaps love is a temporary or permanent addiction to a person, just like a person can be addicted to a drug. I don't mean to be edgy like some pop song. Evidence shows that chemicals in your brain stimulated by another person can make you develop a habit for that person. The person comes to satisfy a physiological craving, and you want more. But then sometimes, slowly or suddenly, you don't. You've fallen out of love, become unaddicted, for a spell. What happened? Does one develop a tolerance or hit a limit? Why do some lovers stay addicted to each other their entire lives? Perhaps to create new lives, to proliferate their species? Maybe love is just human DNA's optimal method for bringing about its own replication. There are evolutionary arguments regarding every human mating behavior, from how we display ourselves to potential mates, to how we treat each other in relationships, to how we raise kids. Thus, some argue that the feeling you think you feel in your soul is just biology's way to make you continue our species. Nature has selected you to have crushes on hotties, just like it makes monkeys have crushes on hot monkeys, and biology marches on. But is that all love is? Or, perhaps worse, is it just a construct, some fake concept we all convince each other to try to live up to for a fake sense of purpose? Maybe it is a construct, but let's be more precise about what a construct is because love is constructed from reality: Our experiences, feelings, brain chemistry, cultural expectations, our lives. And this edifice can be viewed through countless dimensions: scientific, emotional, historical, spiritual, legal, or just personal. If no two people are the same, no two people's love is the same either. So, in every loving relationship, there's a lot to talk about and partners should be open to that, or the relationship probably won't last. Love is always up for discussion and, sure, under construction. So, if we can't define it, that's a good sign. It means we're all still making it. Wait, I didn't mean, you know what I meant.

What defines love? Is it merely a fleeting emotion or a profound connection that transcends time and space? Love has been the subject of countless poems, songs, and stories throughout human history, yet its true nature remains elusive.

Love knows no boundaries - it is a language spoken by all cultures and embraced by all religions. It is the invisible thread that binds us together as human beings, transcending differences and uniting us in a common experience of empathy and compassion.

From a scientific perspective, love is not just a concept but a tangible phenomenon that influences our brain chemistry. When we experience love, our brains release a cocktail of chemicals that create feelings of euphoria and attachment, reinforcing the bond between individuals.

Is love an action we take or an entity we possess? Perhaps it is both. Love is something we do - through gestures of kindness, compassion, and understanding. It is also something we feel - a deep-seated emotion that motivates us to care for others and seek their happiness above our own.

In a world filled with chaos and uncertainty, love can be seen as a guiding light - a cult of positivity that inspires us to be better, kinder, and more compassionate towards one another. It is a force that has the power to transform individuals and societies alike.

In conclusion, love is a multifaceted phenomenon that defies simple categorization. It is a verb, a noun, a neurological process, a universal truth, and so much more. To truly understand love, we must embrace its complexity and allow ourselves to experience its full spectrum of emotions and meanings.

Unraveling the mysteries of love may be an endless journey, but it is a journey worth taking. So, let us open our hearts to love in all its forms and embrace the beauty and wonder that it brings into our lives.


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    ShinosukeWritten by Shinosuke

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