The Love Zone

"Where there is Love, there is Life"
Matahma Gandhi

What is Love; is it a divine right of passage or the devil incarnate, with everything else in between? We know the Greeks sought to define this ubiquitous emotional currency into four distinct categories: Agape, Philia, Eros, and Storge. Millenniums later, C.S. Lewis explores these tenants of love from a philosophically Christian point of view, eventually gleaning them into Affection, Friendship, Eros and Charity. Beginning with the idea that God is Love, Lewis believed that the many aspects of his "need-love, gift-love" theory ultimately stemmed from virtues greater than human desires. Nature, of course is not always so high and mighty when it comes to our hormones. The awakening of the libido in all of us can easily mistake sex as the love supreme.

"You know you're in love....because
reality is finally better than your dreams"
Dr. Seuss

My personal journey with the love bug began in the sixties where free love was the clarion call to action. Flashing the two fingered peace sign and yelling "make love, not war" made for quick friendships and easy alliances. There was a power in numbers and everyone knew we were in the "The Love Zone" In this imaginary place, romantic love was the hottest ticket in town, where everything was permissible and all roads led to happiness. The love police drove away the boogieman of inhibition and sought to free our minds from the limits of religion and parental disapproval. Running wild in the streets with this new found freedom forged a lasting ring of fire around this naive girl that thought the bliss would never end.

"...I have no notion of loving people
by halves, it is not my nature"
Jane Austen

However, once the drug of possession is flushed down the drain, its evil twin of anger takes over. An unspeakable danger lurks in the veins causing so many of us to lash out at our former lovers. The hostilities of disappointment and betrayal become a fist of fury and a beast of burden. Those vast sunny days gnarl themselves into the dark night of the soul. The reality of loss and lunacy is no longer a hidden madness. Living in the hell of bitterness burns down the walls of faith and hope. Depression lingers in the background waiting to take flight while despair gropes the underworld for those still breathing. How is it possible for the pendulum to swing so widely, causing us to plummet into the abyss?

"I love you as certain dark things are to be loved
in secret, between the shadow and the soul."
Pablo Neruda

Navigating the multifaceted landscapes of emotion has poets. artists and philosophers charting a pathway between head and heart to understand why love is such an enigma. For the vast majority of people on this planet, human love is the penultimate. As social creatures, we crave interaction, intimacy, relevance and respect from others. These clearly defined emotional constructs fill in the gaps in our need to be wanted. However wonderful it feels to be engaged physically with another human being, it is love we are experiencing, or a dynamic sensation that has a finite beginning and end?

"The one you love and the one who loves
you, are never, ever the same person."
Palahniuk

The commercialization of love is a time honored past time in today's society. The passion and the pain of romance play havoc with the true meaning of Love. In some social science circles, human emotions are no longer a big mystery. Once one is acquainted with frailty and judgement, jealousy and insecurity within the psyche, it becomes easier to distinguish these common reactions when lost within a tirade of feelings. Conversely, elation, exhilaration and euphoria can bring on emotions strong enough to take one's breath away, or passionate enough to kill. So, finding love within the framework of the human condition can be a very tricky business.

"Was it hard...letting go? Not as hard as
holding on to something that wasn't real."
Lisa Schroeder

As long as we are only interested in addressing physical attraction, lust, possession, and legal contracts, love will always be limited to these variables. On the other hand, if we seek to understand how we are biologically wedded to the need-love syndrome, then, we will be better equipped to extricate ourselves from the revolving door. With the help of science, we are learning more about the calamitous pull between love and hate on our brains, which produce a physiological signature pattern emitted from those vibrations. This field is neuro-chemically and neuro-electrically connected to this energy. It is this kinetic force that makes us risk everything to empower the focus of our attention. This enhanced state of need makes romantic love the most addictive form of human desire. Attraction rules the roost and biology takes center stage. The object of our desire might well be our own elixir.

"The bird doesn't sing because it has an
answer, it sings because it has a song"
Maya Angelou

Curing the heart of the intense nature of romantic conditioning doesn't require giving up the joy and majesty that love conjures within our souls. Knowing and loving oneself intimately begins the process of balance and healthy integration with another person. Associations with like minded people goes beyond gender and age, as all of creation requires the dominance of love to give it life. The core of such power lies in the seeds of its consciousness and energy. Rocking out to the never ending story of the lightness of being is why Cupid has been more than just a sharp shooter, but a celestial reminder that his arrow is a double-edged sword. When I was a wee girl, my granny always said charity begins at home. Hopefully, this Valentine's Day, we are wiser and more self confident, knowing there's a great truth in the words of Oscar Wilde. "To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance." So be it!

"It is not in the stars to hold our
destiny but in ourselves"
Shakespeare

With great love and respect
Esprit

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