As I have mentioned before, we humans — social beings as we are — among other things, need love. Lots of it. We have the need to give love and get love. If we don’t we wilt! That’s how we have survived over thousands of years while trying to make it by the skin-of-our-teeth in the hot Savannah down in Africa or chill way up in Alaska.
We took care of our friends, our clan, our family, and, in turn, they took care of us. We also cooperated with one another and became altruistic — most of the time anyway. We thrived and, in addition, parents having Eros and Agape, wanted to stay together, taking care of our helpless human baby who is born three years too early (the baby’s brain doubles its size the first year after delivery!)
Love is the feeling when the welfare of the loved one is as important as our own!
Love comes in various forms. First, there is the love for the child and our family. The ancient greeks called it “Agape.” You can find the word in the Bible where it is spelled out and defined beautifully (e.g., Corinthians 1st ch. 13). Other faiths have similar definitions in their own holy books.
Then there is “Philos,” i.e., the feelings for your friends, buddies and fellow workers, our country, our neighbors.
Of course do not forget this one: “Eros,” i.e., the sensual love for spouse or significant other.
As I have already mentioned, loving is defined as the concern for the welfare of the loved one being equal or even more important than our own. Unfortunately, there is another part of us which often is in conflict with the social /loving part of ourselves. The selfish part looks out for the needs of number one — for ourselves and our individual needs. After all, even a loving mother has to sleep and eat.
In addition, when we love and expect love, we may get uneasy as we feel that our well being is now dependent on the whim, or as if we were of somebody else, so we become demanding and get jealous. Furthermore, we all are a little opportunistic; i.e., thinking it is “ok” to love two people sensually simultaneously, as long as we do the loving.
Loving and being in a state-of-grace are good for you. You enjoy life and the company of others. You help and contribute to the well being of your community and — at the same time — when healthy these feeling help keep your blood pressure low and make you feel protected. So do it. And remember, you do not do your creator a favor! Instead, it is your well-being you protect and the joy of being alive. Unfortunately it is a pity, when we humans feel insecure often, it seems, feel more comfortable with a gun in our hand than a hug.