what love is not

One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life:

That word is love.

-Sophocles

Not sure I agree with Sophocles’ philosophy of  love there.

Struggling to come up with a better one, however.

Let’s start with what love is not.

Love is not an emotion.

Love is not something  you “feel”

Love is not about having sex.

Love is not fixing someone who is broken.

Love is not  changing someone else.

Love is not controlling.

Love is not complacent.

Love is not co-dependent neither is it enabling.

Love is not a hole one can fall in and out of.

Okay, so, let’s move on to what what love IS.*

Love is a job.

Love is what you do.

Love needs cultivating…….

damn…..

I was all set to present this entry as a rant, but that didn’t work out because my anger dissipated when I started putting my thoughts together. Then I realized that I was sounding all Corinthians 13-ish and that isn’t where I want to go with this either.

I feel like I am sloshing through a bayou of discontent. I have been debating with myself, questioning my belief system,  looking to my friends and family (and Google), reflecting on relationships long gone – all in an effort to define what love is. Or what love is to me at any rate….

***the following three paragraphs serve absolutely no purpose other than to provide a little digression that allows me to think about what I really want to say (feel free to skip if you’re not interested in taking that extra time for a moment of Jenn….)***

My secret guilty pleasure is celebrity gossip.  Generally, reading about the rich and famous and their woes, contributes to my feeling a little better about my own issues. For example: no matter how overheated, miserable or depressed I’ve been, I have never shaved my head nor have been busted by the paparazzi without my skivvies. (Thank you, Britney Spears.) I have had a couple of my own nervous breakdowns that have been quite spectacular, but then along comes Charlie Sheen (and Brit again) and my problems look like a mild bout of SAD.  Watching Jon and Kate was too much, even for me, but I sure could read about them and, wow, did my family shine in comparison (ALL of my family).

In the midst of all the day-to-day drama, in an age when marriages have about a 50-50 shot at lasting, some celebrity couples just seem to work. Perhaps they are the exceptions that prove the rule. Perhaps we need these subtle heroes to emulate. I am thinking of couples like Paul Newman/Joanne Woodward, Kevin Bacon/Kyra Sedgewick and Danny DeVito/Rhea Perleman.

At any rate, I am having difficulty wrapping my mind around Heidi Klum and Seal’s divorce. (I want to remind you here that despite any proof to the contrary I am actually a very intelligent person.) I know that celebrities and their issues have no impact in my life, but They presented as an ideal couple – at least all the weeklies made it seem so.  She was quoted regularly saying how wonderful, handsome and considerate  a husband he was. They were often photographed out and about with their family. He adopted her first-born. Yet, they either couldn’t or wouldn’t find a way to salvage their marriage and preserve the structure of the family unit. Those “close to the couple” have referenced his temper and her resentment of the lack of passion in their union as possible  contributing factors to the demise of  their marriage.

That just doesn’t seem like love to me.

Ummm, so it’s past 3am and I really need to make an effort  to get at least five hours of sleep tonight – so this is going to have to be a two-parter.  As a warning, I will be getting religious when I start in on what love is. (tomorrow, I  hope)

Love you (and caffeine, dear, dear caffeine)

*Note: it is significantly easier to define what love is not than what it is

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2 thoughts on “what love is not

  1. Helen says:

    Love is hard work. You have to want the object of your love a lot and work hard to keep the love alive. Love is weak and cannot survive on it’s own. Love, when nurtured, can grow strong and last for years. Love was the first gift from the creator. All creation begins in love.
    Take from this what you may. It is all based on the experiences of my life.

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