Many bestselling authors have made their careers on their ability to explore love and they have explored its many facets. But is anything ever again like your ‘first love’? The trembling hands, the beating heart, the breathless anticipation-in short, the culmination of all you ever saw and heard and felt about love?
As a matter of fact, your first love affair started well before then. Before your conscious brain could frame the thought of, let alone the word, ‘LOVE’.
For love does not constrain itself just to the romantic kind-love is present in all our close relationships. So rather than ask the question ‘have we forgotten how to love?’ maybe we should be asking ourselves if we even know what love is…..
The word LOVE in English is often synonymous with heart emoji`s and the thought of swooning over some body beautiful member of the opposite sex. Although it is in fact the human perspective that has to some extent corrupted this word, the English language itself is limiting in its offering of descriptions of love. We have just the one word, LOVE. Sure, if you look in the dictionary, you will find phrases which describe love, like ‘an intense feeling of deep affection’, ‘a great interest of pleasure in something’, or ‘sexual love for someone’, but compared to other languages even these descriptions are left wanting.
Take the original Greek, which offers a plethora of words for love. Beautiful words which carry their own meaning and motivation. Words which are not passive and general but which convey the motivation behind the emotion. Agape, the principled love, borne from what is the right and moral thing to do, rather than from sentiment. Storge, a love encompassing natural empathy and affection, like that between parents and children. Philia, the friendship love, the loyal, equal, familiar love, a concept championed by Aristotle (‘Philosophy of love’. Internet Encyclopaedia of philosophy). And Eros, the intimate, erotic, sexual passion which in modern times seems to represent the be-all and end-all in our perception of what love really is.
Indeed, love is a multi-faceted wonderful representation of animal connection. From the opening blossom seen in the heart of a mother when she feels the first fluttering of a life within her, to the gnarled fingers of age finding solace in a well-remembered touch, true love is with us from the day we are conceived until the day we die.
Sometimes we just need to be reminded about how to use it …………