How do you define Love?
For my 3rd year writing course it is recommended that each day at a designated time, I am to write a page of thoughts. The topic I have been analyzing originally spurred from a tweet I saw. It was a trailer for a new movie coming out titled Old Fashioned. The trailer depicted a pure love story between a humble man and woman who developed sincere, genuine, respectable, healing, chivalrous, passionate love between one another. It compared and contrasted those qualities of love to Hollywood’s new movie Fifty Shades of Grey and it’s depiction of love. Fifty Shades of Grey depicts love as having qualities of lust, manipulation, sexual favors, sexual exploitation of each other’s bodies, naivety, secrecy, dominance, submission, etc. A caption posted with the video included a statement that “Fifty Shades” is blatantly pushing to normalize sexual exploitation of women. This really resonated with me. Although I agree with that statement, it didn’t justly define the real issue, because both the man and woman are being sexually exploited. The real issue with this movie is that it exploits, distorts, and perverts love. What is love?
That question is impossible to answer. I have concluded it is supernatural and indefinable. Supernatural is (of a manifestation or event) attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding of the laws of nature. I have been trying to define love for over an hour and still cannot find something that satisfies me. The Google definition of love that is provided says it is an intense feeling of deep affection. This merely describes what love feels like. Love is not only a feeling. The word feeling is far too arbitrary to assign to love. Those of you who have experienced love should certainly agree. If it were merely just a feeling (an emotion, a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others, or a conscious experience characterized primarily by psychophysiological expressions, biological reactions, and mental states) then wouldn’t we be able to manipulate drugs to induce the psychological expression/biological reaction/mental state of “Love” within every person to feel it, solving mental illnesses such a antisocial personality disorders, and essentially creating a world peace pill? We can drug people to have the feeling of euphoria and happiness, but not love. It is indefinable, only describable. The only description of love that scratches the surface of specificity for me would be summed up to this: “Love is a divinely infused habit more easily experienced, than defined. It seems remote until we encounter it en-fleshed, so to say, in the life (not objects) of another – in acts of kindness, generosity, and self-sacrifice. Love’s the one thing that can never hurt anyone, although it may cost you dearly. The paradox of love is that it is supremely free yet attaches us with bonds stronger than death. It cannot be bought or sold; there is nothing it cannot face; love is life’s greatest blessing.” To be honest, the mind-blowing phenomenon of love and how the small capacities of our human minds aren’t able to fully define and bottle it is enough to convince me that God does exist. Theologians define love as God and God is love, when I wrap my mind around that one I’ll let you know.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.♥