If you're asking me for a basic definition, I resonate with the way bell hooks talks about love. When asked to define it simply, she said that, "Love is a combination of six ingredients: care, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, respect and trust." It may be obvious (which may be why she didn't say it) but to her list I'd add connectivity: I'd say love is about connecting and being connected to ourselves, to who we love, to everything. There's an energy to being deeply connected that once you feel, you'll recognize ever after.
I also like something Thich Nhat Hanh said on the topic, which is that "Love is the capacity to take care, to protect, to nourish. If you are not capable of generating that kind of energy toward yourself - if you are not capable of taking care of yourself, of nourishing yourself, of protecting yourself - it is very difficult to take care of another person...to love oneself is the foundation of the love of other people. Love is a practice. Love is truly a practice."
When people talk about being in love, they're usually talking about a strong feeling of connection to someone else, a passion, a desire for love; about feelings which may become love or are part of the kind of love we feel, rather than love itself. Being in love is something that can cultivate, feed or water love, but isn't love itself.
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