The Various Shades of Love
Why does love feel different? Why does our motivation for life increase when you’ve created life?
It feels satisfying having my mum and dad still with me. When I think about how fortunate I am, I sometimes feel guilty. Many children have had parents but lost them early, and some have never had parents. Divorce, separation, drug abuse, death, early adoption, abandonment, and any other reason. I am grateful to have amazing parents that have been there to support me throughout my life.
My love for my parents is deep but here is what I wonder, having children of my own I sense a differing effect of love. Why? And why, now that I have kids of my own, do I appear to have a raised level of ambition to live? Not that I am suicidal, but indeed I am more aware and concerned about my destructive behaviours.
It is a complicated question with many elements that I wish to digest. I guess love comes in various forms, but first I believe it’s important to understand what love is? How do we define love? From there we can assess whether variations of love do exist. I think love exists permanently and innately within all of us but perhaps this perspective is incorrect. Why does the love for my children feel different to the love I have for other people?
Love, I believe, is energy. It is the unseen energy that is found in all life or at the very least a component of it. Energy is forever. The same energy that gives life the innate purpose of survival. Love is a critical component of life. It is the glue that bonds all relationships which without we would not exists.
Do you think as life has evolved the conscious man has drifted away from this love energy? Is that even possible? Or are we just less aware? Consumed by a selfish pursuit of survival that is based on independence, not dependency. A development that has risen due to the capitalist state of confusion that has enveloped modern day life. Cluttered and attached to a great deal of trivial matter maybe we’ve forgotten how to meet the needs of the fundamental Life Principles. Love is one of these principles.
At moments when life is perceived as being threatened, I believe all life as the propensity to act in what may be viewed as selfish. A lioness will attack a predator that looks to be a threat to the well-being of her cub’s. The predator is acting out of the need to satisfy its hunger. These are natural phenomena of life. They don’t appear so harmful or selfish in the eyes of survival.
However, we have become strangers in the dark to our feelings and emotions that result from these naturally occurring phenomena of life. So busy, overwhelmed and removed that we don’t notice a kiss on the heart. The senses that exist for the need of survival.
We notice the good feelings that we experience in the moments of pleasure, and as we cling to these, we try to hide or run from any aversion that we are experiencing in life. Caught in the distractions we seek and constant chase we forget to check in with what is real, what is important and essential for our well-being. These are the unnatural elements of life that we seek in the selfish pursuit that cause us to forebode love.
Love energy is always finding a way to breathe. In ignorance and obsession over the poisons we seek or the unease we fleet we lose the ability to connect with love. Let it shine! Let it speak. Love is not unique, different or dependant on context, it is the same. And it is available to each of us.
Here is why I think it may feel different. Different aspects of our life force us to wake up, and then we become connected to what is truly important. Having kids is an example. There are also different areas of our life in which bring us to a higher state of awareness based on the frequency that they show up and the dependency or need we have for them. The love for our parents. The love for our friends.
These are not varying shades of love; they are equal. The love I have for my children, the love that I have for my mates, the love that I can have for an absolute stranger all come from the same internal energy. It is the naturally occurring compassion for all life. We just prioritise them differently based on our attention, energy and need.
After having kids, I became more aware of what was important in my life. It didn’t happen immediately, and in many ways, I am still immature in this regards. Now that I am responsible and accountable for the well-being of other life I seem to have become more engaged. In a way, it has been my wake up to what is essential in my life, my kid’s health and growth and also many other aspects of my life.
My health, my growth, the purposeful use of my time. At first glance, these may seem like selfish pursuits, but they are not. Self-care is essential if we wish to be able to support and love others. Self-care gives rise to our awareness, grows compassion, and allows us to feel more deeply the love that exists within. I believe this is the fundamental truth of why at times love can feel different.
One final observation about the varying strengths of love comes from our personal investment towards that which we care. There is a considerable investment of time and energy that goes into raising children compared to the investment I have in someone I’ve never met before.
Research has indicated that when our investment is high, we are more motivated to pursue the necessary course of action and do what it takes, regardless of pain, aversion or challenge. The more intense the investment the better our ability to sustain. Children are undoubtedly a deep source of motivation.
In summary, I believe love exists equally within each of us and available for all life. It is a matter of awareness and priority. When we are motivated, responsible, aware and invested love is the energy that binds us to the dependency of others. As love comes to life, it breathes life. It creates the energy that we need to thrive. It is the source of all compassion and what drives us towards a life with higher levels of freedom, fulfilment and happiness.
Further Reading and Resources