On Love As Emotion-Feeling
Love as commonly spoken about, written about, sung about, holds little interest for me. Why is that? Because it occurs to me that this is ‘love as a feeling’. Now take a look at that phenomena of feeling-emotion. What shows up? What shows up for me is the fact that feelings-emotions come and go. It occurs to me that ‘my feelings-emotions come and go’ rather like guests did in my parents house when I was child. We almost never knew which guests were going to turn up, on what day, at which time, what mode they would be in, how long they would stay…..
You may find yourself in a sad or happy state, and yet you may be at a loss as to why you are in that particular state now …. emotions are a fairly good index of how conducive the environment is to our well-being, or, at least, how conducive it seems to our minds…
…. the biological “purpose” of the emotions are clear and emotions are not an indispensable luxury. Emotions are curious adaptations that are part and parcel of the machinery with which organisms regulate survival…. emotions actually produce quite reasonable behaviour from the point of view of survival.
At their most basic, emotions are part of homeostatic regulation and are poised to avoid the loss of integrity that is a harbinger of death or death itself, as well as to endorse a source of energy, shelter or sex. And as a result of powerful learning mechanisms, such as conditioning, emotions of all shades eventually help connect homeostatic regulation and survival “values” to numerous events and objects in our autobiographical experience. Emotions are inseparable from the idea of reward and punishment, of pleasure or pain ….. Inevitably, emotions are inseparable from the idea of good and evil.
On Love As A Way of Being / Showing Up In The World
I find myself attracted to the enquiry regarding ‘love as a way of being / showing-up in the world’? Why? Because, I can choose and thus shape my way of being / showing-up in the world. What does ‘love as a way of being / showing up in the world look like?’ Here, I say it is worth listening to the wisdom of Werner Erhard
What love actually is, is the experience that someone else is all right exactly the way they are. To love somebody you have to choose for them to be the way they are. Exactly….Now, if you make something all right the way it is and all right the way it’s not, what’s another word for that? Space. The person’s got the space to be. You know, they can be. They can be the way they are and they don’t have to. Because it’s all right with you for them not to be the way they are. And it’s all right with you for them to be the way they are. That’s love.
…….. Let me put it in more fundamental terms. To be able to tolerate someone the way they are and the way they are not – is loving them. The highest expression of love is the experience that you are creating that person exactly the way they are. They are your creation exactly the way they are, and you are creating the space for them to be any other way. That’s an ultimate expression of love. To create the space for people to be the way they are and to create the space for people to be the way they aren’t. That’s it……
….All the rest of it is an illusion. You see “I love you” is an illusion. It really is…… If I walked up and say “I love you” that’s got to come out of the notion that I might not. You see, it’s got to come from a sense that there’s something other than “I love you”.
The fastest way to destroy love is to make a goal out of it, because people who are trying to be loved come from a place that they’re not loved. And people who are trying to love come from a place that they don’t love.
And if that shows up for you as too philosophical then I leave you with the following:
Love is listening, observing, validating and empathizing.
– Catherine Cadden