Yes, good question: what is love? It's a word that is used in so many different situations that the question is definitely worth spending time on.
I'm sure it's not what I hear in the Blues; or what I hear in bubble-gum music; or what Rosamund Pilcher films show. "I just love your outfit"; "Don't you just love the she moves"; "I just love you to pieces"; "I love you"; etc.; etc.
I'm going to give a try at a definition. To do that I guess, I have to establish at least some defining characteristics, as to what I mean by the term love.
- It's a feeling,
- it isn't dependent on a location, because that feeling can occur anywhere
- it isn't dependent on external factors, because that feeling can be experienced under any set circumstances
- it isn't dependent on possessions, because it can happen independent of wealth
- it isn't dependent on age, because love can apparently be experienced by those of all ages
- it is a feeling which is unselfish and generous and giving, not taking
- it is independent of time and can occur at any point in a life and even at many points in life
For me, the above list leads me inevitably to break down love into two main groups:
- Love which is dependant on external factors and
- Love which is independent from external factors
Love of the first type, i.e. dependant on external factors is not real love by my list of characteristics above. It not something we can just generate when we wish - something I suspect many people would dearly wish that they could generate. We either feel it, or we don't.
So, if that is a feeling and that takes place inside me, what does that imply about the feeling of love? As the person closest to me, I ought to be able to experience that feeling when I wish, so why can't I?
Who says I can't? Of course that has to be possible. I can choose which feelings I have at any given moment at least with practice that becomes a real possibility. Spending time acquainting myself with me, slows me down, so that I have space to make a choice of which feeling I use as an appropriate answer to a situation. Of course, anger often comes, or annoyance or irritation or dislike, but practice makes perfect and I definitely don't react the same as I used to.
Love is not attached to a person or place or object; it is the feeling that everything is right with me and the world. It is not the ridiculous emotion described by the love songs we hear outside. That comes and goes, depending on a thousand external factors and changes over time. Love is the only constant worth striving for and you can: just find that feeling inside and if you can't find someone who can show you how.