As I was riding my bike across campus this afternoon, I thought, “what even IS love”!?
And why if it’s something that supposedly comes so naturally to us, do we get so wrong? Maybe I’m just thinking too much. Or maybe this deserves some digging. Either way I had to find an answer to satisfy this question that kept bouncing around in my mind.
So I did what any sensible person would do when they need to know something: I googled it (what we ever did before the internet I will never know). I got some pretty interesting results too. Turns out a lot more people than just me are searching for the answer to this same question.
Lets start with the great source of all knowledge — our friend, the beloved Wikipedia. (Haters gon’ hate but I think it’s pretty legit). So according to said source, there’s loooots of different types of love (I think we know this, but just stay with me here guys). Speaking broadly, we’ve got 1) Impersonal love and 2) Interpersonal love.
Impersonal love: we love goals, objects or principles (I don’t know about you guys, but my love for avocados is pretty strong) and 2) The love of human beings!
I think when I contemplate love it tends to be interpersonal love. The more research I did, the more complicated this started to become. There are so many different models and explanations. Love is attempted to be explained by biology, psychology, different cultures, religion, philosophy. You name it, they’ve probably had their crack at trying to define what love is.
My personal favorite? “Some scientists have the view that love is caused by a hormone oxytocin in our body releasing, and that there is nothing actually known as love and that its just an evolutionary instinct.” LOL JK. Good try scientists. I think I’ll keep looking.
(I probably should not have clicked on the urban dictionary definition of love, but I couldn’t resist, plus I kept it PG). Here are some gems that I can’t help but share:
- nature’s way of tricking people into reproducing.
- when you catch her with no makeup, her hair pulled back while she’s unclogging a toilet and she still looks beautiful to you.
- Either a horrible disease or a blessing
- Being lame together while not caring about what other people think
Okok, enough of that. Back to business. Much to my dismay, there was not a simple answer to this (but when is there? I should have known). So next I turned to myself. Just to see what I defined it as. *Starts deep mental pondering*
DRUM ROLLL PLEASEEE……
Okay so after marinating the question a bit, and drawing from my own experiences with life, I think when it comes down to it, I would define love…as sacrifice. A sacrifice is described as the “surrender of something for the sake of something else.”
And that’s what you do if you claim to love someone or something. If you love to be with someone, you surrender your time for the sake of their presence. If you love, oh I don’t know, a certain sport, you sacrifice a number of things. Especially if you dedicate your life to it. If you’re a professional athlete, you sacrifice time with family and friends. You give up eating distinct foods — now that would kill me; hence why I’m not a professional athlete. Actually there are a lot of reasons why I am not a professional athlete but that’s beside the point.
I think also of mothers. How they sacrifice their comfort, their bodies, their beauty. Love is sacrifice. It may not be all that it is, but it’s a big chunk of it. At least to me. And maybe that’s why we’re (I’m) so bad at it. Because once we realize that we need to sacrifice certain things for the good of the other, we selfishly say no and that relationship begins to crumble. I know I struggle deeply with selfishness and I had never really connected the two before. Because the world tells us that love is a feeling. It’s when you can’t stop looking at someone. It’s when you get butterflies. It’s when your whole world revolves around one person and you don’t care about anyone or anything else.
But what my mind is drawn to the most is Jesus Christ. He sacrificed his comfort, his dignity, heck HIS BODY to bring us real love. By example, He showed us that true love will always require sacrifice and that it’s not just a feeling. It is an act of dying to ourselves, our desires, our needs.
But then again, what do I know… I’m just a 21 year old who’s still afraid to use the car wash.
I’d love to get some insight into what you define love as!