_______________________________Today I took a walk through the snow laden trees and the snow laden streets, and I pondered on love. Several years ago I confided to my friend that I didn't think I loved anyone, that I didn't even love my parents. She was astonished, and proclaimed that I was probably wrong. She was correct. I was wrong, but it took a good deal of thought and prayer to find out.
First off, my definition of love was faulty. I had assumed it was an emotion, a powerful attachment. That's how it is often described though, right? On television, love is often described as emotional, the wanting of someone or to be with someone. Television characters are willing to estrange themselves from family and friends and/or jobs in favour of their beloved. That's not the type of love we have for friends or family though.
So what is love? I think we all define love a little differently, but overall love is a multi-dimensional thing. If love were an emotion, then it would die with romance. If love were dutiful attachment, there would be no joy. If love were just a choice, then we would choose who we were attracted to. However, love is a choice. How else would long-term relationships last? Once you know everything good and everything bad about a person, are you still passionate about them? Doubtful, but you probably trust them and you probably do things for each other. You probably compromise and discuss things and argue and make-up.
According to the Greeks, there are six types of love. These include manic love, eros (erotic) love, philos (brotherly) love, agape love, and parental love. Still we are not closer to the answer.
For me, love is deep attachment which includes duty, emotional attachment, and choice. Would I be sad if the person died or went away or were angry with me? Am I willing to do special things for them? Do I intentionally spend time with them? These are tests of love.
Like a river, hearts melt from the outside in. People treating you well heal external/minor hurts, but it takes a lot longer for you to trust people after you have been deeply emotionally injured. To work towards loving people more and being able to accept their love, choose to love people a little more. Choose to be around them and be open for them to care about you.