Here is my take on love and what it represents. May it inspire you to love the real you and those you treasure in your life. Maybe you might also find love is much more powerful that any hate you feel in your heart. (1348 words long)

Love. The word has many meanings and as many interpretations.

So dare I write another word about it?

The way I see love may not be the way others see it. When I am in love, someone else might claim ‘no you are not, you’re in love with wishful thinking’. In my lifetime, how true has that sometimes been?

I think anyone can write about love, for it touches each of us in different ways, in different scenarios and at times, in ways only one person can explain.

Some will claim one kind of love is not the same as another. That may be true because we love many people and things at different levels. But the love we have for a partner, or paternal love for offspring has to be equal throughout humanity. Love is love, no matter what our gender or sexuality.

I have experienced many kinds of love. Love at first sight, love that has developed from friendship and when my heart fluttered from someone passing through my life. Maybe this is the wishful thinking bit, of what could have been, if only.

Love at first sight can knock us flying. It is split second, like ‘what the?’ In the instant it happens, we might realise that something magical just happened and instinctively, we know there could be more to it.

Great if we are free and single. Not so great if it conflicts with the love we thought we had for another. It is never wise to complicate our love life.

I’m of the mind that true love is never instant, as much as we might like to claim. In the right circumstances, we should not underestimate love at first sight, assuming it is more than the heat of the moment and appropriate for it.

I’ve experienced the ‘love at first sight’ factor that has led to something wonderful and lasting. But I’ve also been in love with a fantasy, so much so that I have been blind to the things that I might not love so much.

In the bigger scheme of humanity, love for our fellow man is supposed to bring us together. In the real world, some humans are difficult to even like, let alone love. So maybe this ‘love thy neighbour’ lark is somewhat overrated above being respectful, friendly and helpful to as many people as we can.

We use the word love daily and loosely, easy because there are many things in everyday life we love, as in enjoy, appreciate, relish and care about. Many of us have an emotional connection with material things, a love for something that holds treasured memories.

But how do we know when it’s love and not something else? How does love even start? We can experience the feeling of love in an instant, gradually over a period of time, or it creeps up on us and smacks us around the kisser when we least expect it.

Perhaps, even infatuation, obsession, endearment and adoration are pre-requisites of love.

Can only time tell us if the love we feel is real? Our emotions and instincts can seem very real to us when love rears its head, for whether it is love or not it is likely to whisk our feelings and thoughts to imagined paradise. Waiting in the shadows though might be that nasty emotion called jealousy, along with all the other mixed feelings when love is a bumpy ride and not as mutual as we would have wished for.

Love is one of the stronger emotions and one of the best. When we fall in love and it is returned equally, our world is never better. But if we cannot love something or someone, there are many other options besides hate. Accept, tolerate and empathise are all ways to avoid hating something that grates with our world, apart from those who inflict harm onto others.

Our love for animals cannot go unmentioned. Whether other creatures feel love as we do I’m not qualified to say, but animals can be devoted to each other, to humans and can sense the emotions we are feeling. We can love a pet equal to a human, especially if we are alone in life. Those who have never connected with animals won’t understand how a pet can tear at our heartstrings and return our love threefold.

While we are talking about love, how many of us love ourselves? Perhaps we have to love ourselves before others can love us. That might mean valuing the incredible and unique person we are and all the elements that make us such an individual. Loving our own imperfections might be a start and if they are that imperfect, we are all capable of changing them.

Beauty is in the eye of who sees it, so when we fall in love with another person, we fall in love with their funny little traits and irksome habits. To us, they are all part of the endearment we feel towards them and their imperfection which to us, are perfect.

Seeking love can be hard; a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack. If we stop looking, take a break and picnic on the haystack, then it’s more likely the needle will prick us in the bum.

That suggests love will come our way when we least expect it. The more we get out and meet people and interact in social situations, the more chance that element of chemistry will be lurking ready to pounce.

Sadly, the reality of love can also mean that love can die, sometimes as a quick realisation, or a slow and painful drifting apart from one another.

When that happens, we have to be careful of the destructive emotion, hate. In a light-hearted way we can have a love/hate relationship with a friend or family member. But falling out of love need not mean falling out of friendship and hating them forever.

If we have ever loved someone, we loved them for the person they were and their qualities that touched our life. If we end up hating that, then we are dismissing a part of our life that brought happiness and contentment. Even if we cannot help but hate something, we need to realise hate is a negative aspect that can eat away at what is positive.

We are who we are from past experiences, especially the emotional ones. They will be part of our blueprint for the love we have yet to find or present love we need to nurture, value and embrace, lest it is lost before we realise how incredible it is.

When a loved one dies, then the love we had for them intensifies. Life may become temporarily meaningless, pointless and utterly miserable, but our love and grief will indeed speed their spirit on to the next dimension. We learn to live with the pain and over time, the heartache eases. But the love never fades, for love can be consuming, enveloping our very being.

Maybe I know little about love outside of who I have loved and lost and who I love now. But love is love no matter who we are, what side we bat for sexually or what gender we identify with.

I dare not approach the religious aspects of love, not with my record and my perception of some elements of religion. But I will say this:

The strength of love for God, be it within Christianity or Islam, is tangible within society. Respecting that, in some religious quarters across all faiths, love for humanity is dying. Love might be our saviour if Man could embrace all there is to love in this life and be less hateful and intolerant towards what he doesn’t yet comprehend.

If we understand about life, we’ll know that some imperfections deemed by society are real intentions of nature.

In that case, love is much more than it’s made out to be.

Dare I write another word about that?

Very likely, for without love and all the emotions it captures, should any of us actually be here?

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