Societal Love vs. Authentic Love
“I can’t live without him/her.”
“If you really loved me, you’d take me wherever I wanted to go and do the things I asked you to.”
“I love you IF…”
“He/she would be perfect for me if only he/she….”
“I ‘love’ you today; I ‘hate’ you tomorrow.”
They say you fall into love then you fall out of love. It is because you are on your ass when you think its even love.”
“I think I love you”
“Don’t tell me how I feel, okay?”
“He/she makes me happy.”
“He/she is my soulmate; he/she is the ‘one’.”
“I know he/she loves me because they told me they did.”
Society has fed us lies. Impossible ideals to look up to, unattainable and upon closer look, unwanted, ideals. In every relationship, we are taught how a “real” friend, “real” parent, and or “real” lover should treat us. Thus, we come to our relationships with a list of expectations that dictate the nature of our relationships right from the very start. Flexibility, creativity and freedom are not allowed and full acceptance of the other is strictly prohibited.
It can be safely assumed that most if not all individuals in society have heard or uttered the above words to people in their lives. Each make proclamations to the nature of love and others to the power certain relationships have over others such as, “Blood is thicker than water.”
Yet, what is the true nature of love? Is it when he brings you flowers when you least expected it, or when you take your mother shopping when you don’t feel like it? Or is it when your friend spends hours on the phone with you trying to help you recover from a broken heart? While these may all classify as expressions of love to most in society, they are in reality merely superficial notions of love. In this case therefore, what would happen if we simply stopped participating in these superficial actions? What would this mean regarding our “love” for others? For example, if one day your mother asks you to drive somewhere and you have too much work to complete or simply do not feel like it, does this mean you “love” her any less? Should she see this as a denial of love from you? If he does not call you every day does this mean he no longer loves you? What if you have not heard from a friend in awhile or she or he has failed to tell you every detail of their lives, does this mean they care any less or are not a real friend to you? Real love has no expectations. Real love is unconditional. Real love is accepting the other as they are, at every moment and in every state they may be in.
Most people in romantic relationships fail to see the connection between unconditional love and the other. They fail to see that just because another failed to meet their expectations in what an “ideal” partner should behave like (and what is an ideal partner, anyway?), this means that the relationship must end. However, where did all of that “love” go? Was it ever really love to begin with? How could it be? You were not loving the other and accepting them in their real state but rather under your goggles of expectations.
For example, Valentines Day is a socially contrived consumer based day with belief systems of false conditional love...I love you IF_____. We are capable of far more than this. Our true nature is unconditional love, and it can reach all beings. It's not this false romantic love based on attachment to one person, in which people fall out of even before they can blink. It’s a peaceful love that we all possess in our hearts. We can all reach this once we see the illusions for what they are...system constructed false beliefs created to keep us separated. See love with awakened eyes...it is meant for all beings, every day, not just when society states is convenient for others to buy useless trinkets meant to symbolize 'affection'. True love in essence is freely sending it to others...even when they are not aware you are sending it to them. Loving them for just being, and not who they are to you and what they have bought for you. We ARE love. It's time we re remembered.
Attachment masked as love is another problem we face regarding the true nature of love. Society and particularly the media has stood as a powerful force in leading us to believe that only another can make us happy. Yet, the media has set us in a direction completely antithesis to that of real love. No human being can ever make you happy no matter what some silly song, movie or individual tells you. If you fail to be of peace, joy, love, laughter and full of youthful energy from within, you will never find it in another. Hence, you must learn to create these feelings of euphoria within yourself, for yourself.
Romantic relationships are only one of the many relationships that do not understand the true nature of love.
One of the earliest things we are taught is to love and care for our families only for others are strangers to be feared. We are therefore already being taught that the greatest love should solely be reserved for the family for they will never betray you like the outside world will. Everyone therefore becomes suspect and a potential enemy.
We are taught that no matter what, family will be there because according to them blood is thicker than water. The love from family is therefore placed of higher importance in the hierarchy of love. Some may see this as the truth or an example of unconditional love. I view this as conditional because there are expectations that one MUST love their family more. There is a sense of automatic entitlement to this bond, which in turn becomes an attachment. How about people who do not get along with their family? There is a pressure from society to live up to this ideal and when there are people that wish not to conform to this, their families may place a guilt program on them, because it is THEIR family. Furthermore, there are expectations of roles within the family: What it means to be a good daughter, a good mother, etc.
When one does not conform to their ascribed role within their families, they either feel alienated or distance themselves form the rest of their family members as they become for lack of better word, the “black sheep”. Where does love exist in this scenario?
We have been programmed through institutions like the media and education, telling people what love is. Through this programming, people do not even know how they feel. These feelings are not even their own, it comes from what society dictates. People take it as their own truth without even questioning if it is even real love.
Moreover, this societal conditioning that is perpetrated through these institutions, keep us from our authentic essence, which is unconditional love. It becomes diluted and removed from our essence.
What therefore is the true nature of love? To reconnect, remember we are unconditional love. Be it, feel it, do it.