'Heavenly Love Conquering Earthly Love,' by Giovanni Baglione, courtesy CGFA SWEET HOME ~ What's Love?
Welcome, dear seeker!  "What is Love?" People have often wondered.  On this site, I attempt to put into words what I perceive to be the nature and attributes of Love.  If Love is something you are also interested in understanding, please read on.  Perhaps my thoughts will ring true for you.
Les Vierges



What is Love?

It is complex and powerful.  It confuses many people.  Love is a spiritual phenomenon.

As "White Knight" says:
"On Earth, no one knows what love is.  All we see and know is the effect of love.
The concept cannot be defined or confined in merely the physical realm.  Which is why love seems to defy description.  However, this physical realm is where we experience love's effects.  And that part can be described.

Love is a continuum, but like the seven official colors in the rainbow, I've separated it, in my mind, into a few distinct concepts.  I've written essays on the kinds of love I have personally experienced:  The personality of love, the brotherly kind of love, the decision to love, and the passionate kind of love.  My essays on love are written from the point of view of the lover, instead of the beloved. 

Please read about loving relationships below, then follow the links to read my concepts about Love itself.  As I experience other forms of love, I will attempt to explain them in words as well.

Essay on the personality of Love Essay on Brotherly Love
Essay on the decision to love
Essay on Passionate Love

 Love: Relationships

Often, when people tell us what it would take for them to fall in love, they  will give attributes of their potential beloved.  As if the beloved must prove his or her worthiness. 

As in, "I will love you, if you do these things for/to me.  But if you donít, or start to do these other things, which I donít like, I will not permit myself to love you."  As if one's love is a reward for good behavior on the part of the beloved.

This can be true in the case of Love: The Decision, which can be conditional, but Love: The Passionate, for instance, has nothing to do with the personality or "qualifications" of the beloved.

Or, when asked "what is love?"  They will reply, "when he does this for me,"  or,  "when she does that to me,"  or "when he does not do this," et cetera.  Their definition being very focused on what they will receive, and how that will make them feel loved.  It is a passive definition. 

Those with this kind of a definition, are usually those who have never truly loved, or been in love, I find.  They are waiting to be loved by someone else, before they will dare to love, only in return.

Some kinds of love are a state of being in which the lover resides.  Other kinds must be actively given to the beloved, in order to be satisfied.  A love which only comes when the possessor of that love is being loved by another first, seems weaker to me.  Too dependent on someone elseís behavior, for itís existence. 

Therefore, I believe that this sort of love alone, is inadequate to sustain a loving relationship.  If both members in a relationship only have a love which only comes if loved first, then how can the love be sustained?  There are no initiators, only reactors.

However, if one of the partners possessed a love which exists whether or not the beloved was "worthy" of the love, or even loved in return, that could be sufficient to sustain a loving relationship.  One initiator and one responder.  However, since one of the partners is loving in a conditional manner, the initiator must work extra hard to be sure to please, and not offend, the responder.  But of course, the initiator is motivated to do this, so he or she does not mind.  With this kind of relationship, success is likely, but not guaranteed.

The greatest loving relationships exist when both partners love unconditionally.  Both are actively thinking of ways to help and please the other, without a thought of what they are getting for it, in return.  Each is in the relationship for the welfare of the other, not so that they can feel loved themselves.  They are, of course, overjoyed to receive love from the other, but for them, giving love is how they are satisfied, not receiving it.

For indeed, to love is to give.  To be in a relationship for the sole purpose of receiving love is selfish.  And, relationships wherein the participants only give things to their partner, for what the will get back for it, are also based on selfish motivation.  And selfishness is the antithesis of love.

To truly love, one must choose to risk everything and become absolutely vulnerable.  Countless people have had their hearts broken this way, but countless more have never had their hearts healed, because they would not risk enough.  Love heals!   It's miraculous!

Lovers may break our hearts, but only love can truly heal it.
And almost noone has achieved the depth of love they could have, because of holding back.  And that breaks my heart.  To achieve the ultimate love, we must give our entire selves to it.
To achieve the ultimate love takes the ultimate sacrifice.
I'd rather love without life, than live without love.
I can tell you from experience, that even though it can hurt terribly, it is the only way to live.  Anything less, is an unspeakable tragedy.  Itís worth it!!
     As Erica Jong said,
    "Do you want me to tell you something really subversive?  Love is really all it's cracked up to be.  That's why people are so cynical about it...  It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for.  And the problem is, if you don't risk everything, you risk even more."
    And as Mahatma Gandhi said,
    "A coward is incapable of exhibiting love.  It is the prerogative of the brave."
After you read my essays on the essences of Love, you may conclude that I have an impossibly idealistic, romanticized view of love.  You may think I've never been hurt badly enough to become disillusioned, and say to myself, "better to have never loved at all..."

I have been wounded, to the very core of my soul.  And I did say that to myself, for a while.  But then, I got a revelation of what the true, pure essence of Love was like, and so I no longer threw the baby out with the bath water.   And the love I now possess, has healed my wound, and filled my heart with hope again!

Love itself is pure.  Our human experience with it, however, is practically never completely pure.  "Love hurts," they say.  It can be painful, but Love does not cause harm

As Saint Paul wrote:
"Love does no harm to it's neighbor."
When we dare to love, and are hurt for doing so, it is not Love's fault.  Imperfect people love imperfectly.   If we experience a hurtful relationship, it may be that it has some pure true love, but it is mixed with misunderstanding and immaturity, or even a love- counterfeit, like possessiveness, lust, reward/ punishment systems, co- dependency, et cetera.  Fears, caused by our wounded pasts, may also play a part in our inability to have a healthy loving relationship.
Tom Robbins wrote:
"The bottom line is that: (a) people are never perfect, but love can be; (b) that is the one and only way that the mediocre and vile can be transformed; and (c) doing that makes it that.  We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love."
Love as purely as you can.  I have found that, even though I am not perfect, the love I show and feel is still able to do it's mindblowing, blessed miracles, making my life and and the lives of those who permit me to show my love to them, more heavenly; more beautiful.
Love makes you beautiful.
Pure, unadulterated, perfect Love is what I'm writing about in my essays.  They show what the experience is like to love purely, in various ways.  They are what I aspire to always unfailingly express and feel, myself.  Please read on about Love: The Personality.

Love Quotes Love Scriptures
Love Poetry Love Legends
Love Songs Shakespeare
Love Lines Links to lovely sites

I've also included pages of other writings, on the topic of love.  There are some excellent Biblical scriptures about it, and quotes on it.  Shakespeare expressed loving sentiments, in his works.  The Love songs and poetry, and lines from film, also eloquently speak about love.  The Love Legends page tells of great loves of the past and present.  Many wonderful websites related to love, are contained in the Love Links page.

Thank you for visiting!

Les Vierges

P.S. Please also sign the guestbook and check out my new site, especially the section of  love-themed artwork!

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  "Heavenly Love Conquering Earthly Love," by Giovanni Baglione, courtesy of CGFA.
  Scripture taken from Romans 13:10, in the New International Version of the Holy Bible, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.
  Contact the author of this page by emailing whatslove@bigfoot.com
  Thank you for visiting!