Contemplating the intensity of the last few weeks I realised how much we have to revisit some concepts in our lives for the sake of our evolution towards a collective identity. Concepts and behaviours that we have been considering as given and consolidated are now being overturned through friction with the ' other ' to see what is happening inside us and perhaps what is there for us to learn.
For example, we often use the word of love without always understanding what we are referring to and what it really means for each one of us.
Clearly the concept and especially the acts of love vary among various cultures and societies. For example, when the English are 'kicking their children out' of the house when they are 18 years old, they do so because their love dictates to pave the way for their children to learn how to earn their own life, face difficulties and facilities and learn to manage them. . It does not necessarily mean that the parents at that moment abandon their children but they teach them that they need to learn to 'stand on their feet ' something that in Greek parents' eyes for example seems hard and lacking of love.
But is there a right and wrong love?
'If you loved me, you would do this, ' You do not love me (because you did not do me that for me) ', etc. are some of the phrases that we often hear, so often that they become evidence and truly synonymous with love.
My analytical mind never accepted the 'falling in love ' and 'out of love ' as we refer to. Who loves, whom, why and how they were always some of my deepest questions.
Clearly there are different kinds of love and my intention here is not to write a thesis about what love is and not to focus on a specific kind of love, for example, erotic.
I want mainly to relate love with self-knowledge and personal development, principles and directions that apply to any relationship of love, parental, friendly, erotic, human.
I can say with relative certainty (because there is always a tipping margin) that we cannot love something we do not know. Ever wonder why you love someone? Or what is it that you love about someone? Do you know well of him or her that you love and are you sure you do not love them simply because of something they do or say provokes within you a certain feeling? (security, attraction, that you are not alone etc).
I understand that these are not easy questions to be investigated and answered by someone and require deep enquiry. But I think it is important to name them just like a chewing gum that everyone can chew on whenever he has time and thus release a little more taste from the experience lived.
If we assume that someone loves the emotion that love creates, then I'm not sure if they really loves each other. This is evident when the other does something that enhances this feeling and then it is all good, if not, then we get angry, we feel that we are not loved or do not love the other enough, we do not get what we want and, thus,we lose this solid ground.
In conditional love people agree to play the game of ' we will continue to love each other as long as we make each other feel good or in a certain way '. When these conditions change then the game changes.
Unconditional love is the one you love the other for who he is, what she does and wants even if it brings some 'friction' to the relationship or brings up difficult feelings. In a loving relationship, people see what is important to both and respect it, they do not fight it or fight against it even if it puts them in an awkward position or makes them feel uncomfortable. In a loving relationship painful truths are being told and acknowledged and people learn to apologise and change.
Then the other is really the other and not the extension of oneself that is accepted only if he is behaves of a certain way.
Then I let the other grow in whatever direction he is being called, even if it means that at some point the relationship might dissolve because the development paths of both might not coincide.
For some people to be in a relationship (for what the relationship gives them, whatever that is) is an end in itself and they would do anything to maintain it, including forgetting parts of themselves behind. They always have the choice to show these parts of themselves, but this takes courage and requires taking a risk because the other may not be able to see or relate with these. And then what happens?
For some other people the driving force is the development of the self and the lessons/experiences she has to learn/live in this life.
It may not be a 'black or white ' case, but there could be a huge grey area that can unite both ends, if they are willing to move positions and ,thus, acquiring self- knowledge and knowledge of the other as the object of love in the brave and beautiful dance of love.