What Is Love?
Love is one of the most enduring topics in human history, featuring in music, art, poems and novels. Love is something humans seek, yearn for and long to experience. But how often do we ever stop to consider what is love, and when we truly give or receive love.
Love is often presented to humanity as an emotion, experience or something we feel inside about something or someone including ourselves. “Love” is a word used to describe a range of feelings, attitudes or states including levels of calm, bliss, affection, pleasure, enjoyment, other heightened states of attachment towards another person, being or thing.
We can have parental love towards a child, romantic love towards a partner, platonic love to a friend, or love of an object or thing. This array of emotional states and versions of love can create confusion.
It is essential to understand the essence of love and how this affects the way we live and relate to other people, beings, things and ourselves.
Love As A Physical Emotion
As an emotion, love is a physical state and a way of being. It is the way our body feels inside as a response to the energetic frequency of what we sense externally or the thoughts we have internally about what we sense externally. In response to the energetic frequency we perceive, our brain releases a series of chemicals into our body that create sensations and feeling inside that we call emotions.
We label a certain combination of these chemicals and resultant feelings as love. Love of another is therefore our internal response to the energetic frequency of an external condition, situation, behaviour or action.
When we approve of, are attracted to and like the way another person, being or thing presents itself to the world, their energetic frequency resonates with our own. They reflect our energetic frequency back to us, we connect with it, and it feels safe. We feel calm and relaxed inside, connected, and we want to move towards them or it. As this affection and energetic attraction grows and we feel better inside, we often start to call it love.
When we disapprove of and dislike the way another person, being or thing presents itself to the world, their energetic frequency clashes with our own. They reflect our energetic frequency back to us, we disconnect with it, and it feels unsafe. We feel agitated and disturbed inside, disconnected and separated, and we want to move away from them or it.
In modern society, we have often view love as mostly conditional or transactional. We have been taught to show our love through our level of acceptance, affection and movement towards a partner, friend, child, animal, object or thing based on how they make us feel.
“Conditional love” is accepting or moving towards another when they meet our needs and act in our best interests and so make us feel good.
When someone acts or behaves in a way that aligns with who we are, our needs and makes us feel safe, we feel calm, relaxed and good and move towards them. When someone acts or behaves in a way that does not align with who we are, our needs and makes us feel unsafe, we feel anxious, agitated, stressed and alert and move away from them.
If a child behaves, gets good grades and chooses a sensible career, and you feel calm and relieved, you give them approval, affection and they feel accepted and loved. If a child wants to drop out of school and start a band and this contradicts with all your beliefs about security and success, you will feel agitated and anxious, disapproving and reject them and they will not feel your love.
If a partner buys flowers and prepares romantic dates and makes you the centre of your world in a way that makes you feel wanted, accepted and good, you will approve and act affectionately and with love towards them. If a partner suddenly yells and gets violent, you will feel scared, anxious, disconnected and unsafe and withdraw your affection, and they will not feel your love.
The energetic frequency of how you feel about the external state of another is reflected in your actions, behaviours and attitudes towards them. They feel how you feel.
The recipient of conditional love is left thinking they must compromise who and what we are, and act in ways that please another to receive their love and affection. We discard ourself and our needs for the needs of another, and move into unconditional love, to receive their conditional love.
“Unconditional love” suggests giving approval and affection and moving towards another person, being or thing regardless of who they are or what they do.
The human approach to conditional love has prompted relationships in which individuals must fight for affection, approval and to have their needs met. As a result of this, many people have children or enter relationships to try to have their own needs met, with little consideration for the needs of the child or partner. We believe that others will meet a need we have.
Unconditional love teaches us that if we accept, allow, approve and move towards another, regardless of who they are, the conditions and expectations they place on us, what they do or how they treat us, then they will feel our unconditional love and we will eventually receive and experience their unconditional love in return. This is rarely the case.
These relationships are not true partnerships and are not based in love. A parent will treat a child poorly and maybe abuse them through shame or criticism, physical or emotional neglect to manipulate the child’s actions, behaviours or belies to meet their own needs. The child is still to maintain the connection by being what the parents want them to be, and put the parents needs first at the expense of themselves. Or they are labelled a problem.
A partner will abuse or control their spouse, who obeys and compromises themselves. If they stand up for their needs they are deemed a terrible partner.
A government or authority will dictate, mandate and regulate. Citizens will follow in an attempt to do good and receive approval and validation form the state and society at large, at the expense of who they are and what they truly need. If citizens push back they are labelled troublemakers, terrorists, conspiracy theorists and aggravators.
“Unconditional love” teaches us that true love is staying committed, connected and putting the needs of another first, regardless of what they do or do not do to or for us.
Conditional and unconditional love are polarised aspects of humanity’s current definition of love. Many people seek this love in many areas of life, whether they realise it or not. Many relationships are based on abusive dynamics, where to feel loved by an abuser, we must adjust who we are and allow ourselves to be abused to receive their love, affection or approval.
We can love, accept, allow and move towards another regardless of who they are and what they do, until such point that their actions and behaviours impose and interfere negatively with our own wants and needs. At that point we must love ourselves first, act in our best interests, and walk away.
Being “In Love”
Being “in love” is to be attracted to and move towards another when they meet our needs and act in our best interests.
We feel attracted to another when they think about how we will feel in response to their actions and behaviours. We fall in love with someone who plans a picnic with our favourite foods, or vacuums the floor because they know we hate doing it.
We fall in love when our energetic frequencies are aligned and the actions and behaviours of both parties serve the needs and best interests of both.
When your energetic frequency is aligned with the frequencies of who the other person is, their attitudes, beliefs, their actions and behaviour and your response to them, you move towards one another and feel a connection and call it “love”. When any behaviours, actions, values or beliefs of someone change, and they are no longer acting in your best interest or helping you meet your needs, you are no longer aligned with their energy and you want to move away. This is why people can fall in and out of love, especially if they grow, learn and evolve at different speeds and their needs change.
People can be “in love” with another person when the behaviours, actions and state of the relationship are negative, unhealthy or destructive for one or usually both partners or participants in the relationship. Both their needs are being met, even if those needs are not empowering or evolving either party. Two alcoholics can be self-destructive, violent and existing in a state of survival but claim to be in love, when in fact, their low-frequency energy is just aligned and both their needs are being met. If one decides to sober up, their energy will shift and one will choose to move away while the other desperately attempts to hold them back, keep their energy aligned and meet their own needs
In an abusive relationship, the energetic frequencies of the abuser and a victim will be aligned until one chooses to change their beliefs, attitudes and patterns of behaviour, break the pattern and leave.
So What Is Love?
While many agree that love implies a strong feeling of affection, at its core love is more a state of being and relating to another. Love has nothing to do with who a person, being or object is or what they say, do or think, and everything to do with our programming and how we respond to react to them.
“Love” is acting in the best interests and ensuring the needs of another are met… without interfering with others ability to do the same and regardless of how their views, attitudes, actions or behaviours make you feel. Love is to take another as yourself and treat it as you would yourself.
“Self-love” is acting in the best interests and ensuring the needs of yourself are met… without interfering with others ability to do the same and regardless of how your views, attitudes, actions or behaviours make others feel.
Love is a state of being that moves us towards one another, connection and wholeness, rather than away from one another towards separation and disconnection. Love is listening and acting in a way that helps another meet their real, true needs and best interests, not what you think their needs and best interests are or what you want them to be or think they “should” be.
Love is supporting and encouraging a child who wants to drop out of university to pursue a natural, musical talent, and helping them believe they can and find a way to succeed, meet their needs, pursue their passion and be the very best they can so they feel energised, inspired, excited and alive – even when you disagree and would choose a different path, and especially if things do not work out.
Love is choosing to walk away from an abusive or aggressive partner or relationship and not accept actions and behaviour that hurt and diminish you, do not meet your needs and are not in your best interests even if the separation hurts you both.
Love is seeing, accepting and allowing another person, being or thing to be who or what they truly are and not who or what you want them to be, or what they could be.
Love is allowing another to choose their actions and behaviours and meet their true needs until they interfere with the ability of another to do the same.
Love is doing whatever you can to act in the best interests of another and help meet their needs, even if you cannot be the one to do so and have to walk away.
Love is giving up someone or something when you do not have the resources or capability to meet their needs or act in their best interests.
Love is not all sunshine, flowers and bliss. Love can be hard. But real love comes from a place of connection, care, allowing, and whole.
Everything you do, say, think or be can be done with or without love.
The choice is yours.
PS… If you have any questions or thoughts about the definition of love, let me know in the comments or at lizwatt.com/askliz.