This week I went for lunch with my lovely Ubudian/French friend Malu. We were talking about love, actually about the definition of love and how there are differences in perspective and expression because of the different levels. One of the questions that entered the revue was the one if love is maybe an illusion. This made an interesting conversation for which I would love to invite you. Because it was a couple of days ago the last days brought my mind ahead on the topic so this is the extended version, lucky you.. I am waiting for your thoughts on this.
First of all, no I don’t think love is an illusion. To make it clear, I am talking about romantic love. I do get why some people have the impression that love is an illusion. It definitely can be and most of the people who think this seem to be damaged by love. Love can be a big mindfuck.
Because love is one of the most important and precious things in life it is always a topic, we write about it, we make music about it, movies, poems and commercials. We are even being manipulated, because love sells. Damn how love sells. Everybody wants to be in love and is hoping for that beautiful fairytale you see in the movie of hear in that romantic song. Although love is one of the most important things in the world, I am wondering if we have a realistic image of love.
What often happens is that we make compromises. And I don’t mean the kind of compromises in a relationship where we have to make space for the other. I mean compromises in the way that we are making up excuses to make it right. We label something as love because we want it so badly when it actually isn’t. Some people even adjust to what the world wants to see, what others expect them to be. So they get married, get children and a big house, even if it doesn’t really make them happy. They seem to always want more, trying to ‘buy’ happiness. We think that we have no choice and we force ourselves to be happy with it. This is where the thought of love being an illusion makes sense to me, yes in that case love can be an illusion.
I have noticed that we are measuring love all the time. We talk about our lover, our best friend, our brother, a well-known, that is measuring the amount of love right? And by measuring we are judging it. Which makes me wonder why we are judging love?
I believe that love should be free of judgment’s, she should flow in her natural, mysterious ways. She does whatever she wants anyway, so why do we want to define it so badly? Maybe it gives us the feeling of control. Yet love knows no certainty, love is a changing process. We all know this but we seem to be afraid to acknowledge this.
When I look at how often people are looking for love. How some people are always on the hunt for it. I’ve noticed that people even get surprised when I tell them I am happy on my own. And of course I miss a loving arm every now and then but it would be something extra, not a primary need to be happy. A lot of people don’t feel good enough or having trouble with being on their own. Often people are looking for attention from a man or woman and I’ve got the idea that sometimes it doesn’t even matter that much who the other person is. I see people jump in and out of relationships like it’s nothing. And people who depend on the other to bring them happiness; “ If you ever leave me I can’t live anymore”, yes, people really say this sometimes, think about what a responsibility you give the other! Al these examples brings me to the question, do we love to enjoy and make us smile or do we love to feel good enough about ourselves or maybe even complete?
My mother always told me, you should love yourself first before you can love someone else. As a teenager I didn’t get this but now I know she was so right! When I don’t love myself I depend on the other to love me. And the hard part is, I wouldn’t even believe him when he says he loves me because I don’t love myself. It would make me put a lot of weight on my relationship because my low self-esteem makes me afraid of losing him, because how could it be possible that he really wants to be with me. So I am waiting for the day that he is leaving me. And when it comes to self-fulfilling prophecy, eventually he will leave me. And there you go, I told you so. So I get the confirmation I am not good enough and I end up having the one failing relationship after the other while my self-esteem is getting lower every time.
So that makes me wonder, how come I hear nobody talk about self-love and self-appreciation instead of getting married or having children. We don’t live in a world where we can talk about these things, people are overcompensating by trying to be strong and act like they have a big self-esteem. While being insecure is the most human thing in the world.
I even believe that a lot of hate and jealousy comes from a low self-esteem. You will fight your way through it to defend yourself instead of thinking about it and being able to rise above the situation. People get jealous of someone who has something they don’t have. Or they see everything as an attack on their being. They will interpret everything as negative so other peoples intentions are bad, because they don’t believe they are worth anything else than that..
We should teach our children to love their selves instead of making a career, getting married and have children. No bedtime stories about the princess and her prince, no perfect Disney love, teach them about self love first. And I am sad to say that a lot of children don’t have the right example of love at home. Like I said before, a lot of parents settle for less, so that’s also what you teach your children.
So it all begins with our children, if we can teach them how to love their selves, they can love the world more. They can grow up as strong human beings, building the world on peace and love, never settling for less than they deserve.