What is Love?

Most of us are confused about love.

We equate love with pleasure: “I love these ridiculously awesome matching t-shirts.” “I love it when you give me a foot massage.” I have effusive tendencies and so I use the word love in this way from morning until night. There is no harm in this unless we think this is the whole of love. If we see this as the all of love then it makes sense when someone does something that doesn’t bring us pleasure we fall out of love with them. It also makes sense if we see love as being only the act of receiving pleasure that we could imagine love is something people give us or deny us. But is this true?

We have real needs for pleasure, contact, attention, warmth, joy, and more.

But when we think receiving these things is the fulfillment of love and not receiving these things is the absence of love we are liable to be living in hell. I know, hell is a strong word—but having spent a good deal of my time trying to get the world to love me the way I imagined love to be—I think hell is a pretty good word for the job. But feel free to substitute it for misery, suffering, separation, utter bewilderment, or complete confusion.

In my experience hell is a great place to be to begin to become deeply curious about the true nature of things, the fundamental and relative reality we are a part of.

What is love? What is reality? Don’t answer these questions with your small thinking mind, live with them in your heart. What is separating us from love?

I’ll be joined by 20+ wise, curious, and maybe even at times hilarious bloggers in exploring these and other questions of love in the first annual Love Sparks Blogging Festival on February 14, 2011 (Valentine’s Day). To learn more about the festival or to write/share your own post click here.

Who’s sitting beside me in the photo? The one-and-only Elizabeth! Listen to her sing the song L-O-V-E on the sidebar of her site.

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