Philosophy of Love

Last month, in preparation for this month’s creativity class, the teacher, Ilene, told us she wanted us to think about love. What is our perception of love, what does it mean for us? I decided I would sit down and write about my experience of love. Below are my ponderings and experiences with love, and then my revelations at the hands of a great and enlightened woman.
At the ripe age of 45, I’ve been thinking that love is just a perception.
I’ve spent a lifetime looking to others to give it to me, make me feel it. And I even spent time trying to make others love me. At one point in my life, the man that I thought I loved and whom I told I loved, told me in return that he did not love me. And somewhere in my young, sick, romantic mind, I told myself that it didn’t matter if he didn’t love me, that it was okay. I could make him love me. The truth be told, I never felt that he loved me. Not after he married me, not after I gave birth to his child, and not when I left him.
My children’s love has been the closest I have come to what I perceive as “love.” All of my children have this most fabulous, powerful love, and when they give it, it is all consuming, mesmerizing, hypnotizing and the most fulfilling love. It washes me over and through and through and my heart fills to the point of bursting. But children grow up, move out and get lives of their own. Although the love still exists, and I wouldn’t want them to give up a life of their own in order to make me feel loved, it still leaves a void.
Love from significant others, for me, has been held at arm’s length for so long that I don’t know how to bring it closer. Too many betrayals have made it all but impossible to bend at the elbows and pull it in. And it all seems false and fragile, self-fulfilling and selfish. Like something they used to get what they wanted and then took away when whatever need they seemed to be feeling at the moment was filled. And that pain, well, that pain is all too familiar and a pain that I grew tired of feeling.
The soul’s love is the only real love, and I think that I may have experienced it at one time or another. But the programming of humanity and society, that love is only found in other people or from other people, has made it hard to sift through that debris to the real thing. I mean, when were we ever taught that the only love we needed was right within us, all around us, unabounding and could fill any void? No, the programming is that that love is not being reflected to us by others from within, but that it is outside of us and if we -act right, dress right, look right, please enough – it can be ours.
Unlearning this is the journey for me, and I think that I someday will find “love”. That is, if I let myself. It’s just that damn programming. And now the realization that it is all perception seems to make it all seem false. I guess I don’t know if I believe in love. Or at least, the definition that love has held all these years. Maybe I just need a new definition.
I had written the previous segment before I went to Ilene’s Creativity Class last evening.
In Ilene’s class, we watched a powerful film about an artist who creates sculptures. As he is dying, the sculptures begin to move or come to life. These creations come to him and stroke his face and comfort him. It was one of the most moving scenes I have ever seen. And it was in that moment that I realized that we are the creators of love, our perception of it, and the abundance of it in our lives. It is something we must create within ourselves, for ourselves, and let that radiate from us to others and into our creations. It is only then that it is returned to us. When one lives in a state of love, one cannot help but feel what they are living in. The artist, through his creativity, created love. As the gardener who grows his own vegetables never has to go to the grocery store looking for squash or turnips, if we grow our own love, we will never have to go looking for it.

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