A lot of people that we know confuse love with possession. It is easy to see the reason why. It is built into the fundamental assumption of our culture. The popular song says “You are mine and we belong together.” Hardly anyone stops to question the sentiment.
As soon as we feel love, we immediately try to possess. We speak confidently of a boyfriend, wife, child, and parent. We feel in holding expectations about those people. We consider that perfectly reasonable.
Why? Because the concepts of love ultimately drive from romantic love — and romantic love is furious, frantically possessive. We want to be with our lover, as well as to have them to ourselves. To feel their eyes on us, and to consume their minds and bodies…simply, to possess them.
We equate love with a passion so strong that we may even feel if someone does not want to possess us, they do not love us.
We would argue that what we call romantic love is not love at all.
It is just a kind of emotional storm, an overpowering, as well as a thrilling attraction — but it is not loved.
This is because real love is not possessive. It cannot be. We would all agree that love involves giving but not taking. The desire to possess springs from the own need of the lover — the need for approval from the ones that we love, as well as for support from our parent, or for straight A’s from a child, for status, for financial protection — for something.
A possessive lover especially pays attention to what he/she is getting, not what is giving. The lover may dignify his dependency with the name love, but it is a lie. How can you love someone when you are dependent on them for some things you need? That is not loving. It is just manipulation to keep the needs stuff that is coming on your way. Robert Palmer in one of his songs sings about being “addicted to love,” but nobody is. People are just addicted to their needs.
And love is not the same as we need it. It just is not.
A relationship in which love exists is going to produce interdependencies. But, usually, the pleasure of giving changes to fear freely will possibly not happen. It is only that this person who is your husband, your girlfriend, your child, is suddenly very important to you. You are worried about what will happen. What they are going to do. And, at that moment, love stops.
Sometimes, people wonder if they are feeling real love. Those same people never wonder if they are sexually aroused or sad. But, what is the problem of recognizing love then? Usually, it is because they are sensing a conflict: they feel the depth of their need, not the heights of their love.
Real love feels calm; it is steady, and it can easily last a lifetime.
It is nourishing, as people grow under the influence of it. They become who they are and not what someone else expects them to be. Real love is not blind, but on the contrary, people feel understood, as well as accepted for who they are. It is healing, and people recover.
So, every time you hear that love is blind, or that love cannot last, or that love is evil, you can be certain that you catch a description of lust, as well as desire or need. And, it is an accurate description, as needs are transient and destructive.
But, love is something else entirely. It is an emotion of deep caring which asks nothing in return, as well as an emotion which is fulfilling without any expectation at all. It is so rare that most people in our society cannot imagine it. They cannot imagine feeling it or receiving it. They may also come to believe that it does not exist. But it does, in fact.
And, it is the most beautiful thing that exists.
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Source/Inspired: Michael Crichton
Image Credit: Shutterstock (licensed by SDS)/By Lightspring