We keep hearing the laments of people about lack of ‘True Love’ in this world.
We keep hearing about the frustrations of people because they are not getting True Love. We keep hearing complaints about what was believed to be True Love turning out to be something else and the entire relationships getting broken into pieces, because of that realisation! We get to hear about occasional suicides related to True Love of lack of it.
So, what is this True Love? It must obviously be something so important that it’s absence makes people unhappy enough that they commit suicides and break up long cherished relationships.
To know what True Love is, we must first understand what Love is. The dictionary meaning of Love is ‘an intense feeling of deep affection’. It is ‘profoundly tender, passionate affection towards another person, thing or idea’. For example, love for your partner or your phone or your country.
‘True Love’ must then be nothing but a true intense feeling of deep affection? Would that mean one can have an intense yet false feeling of deep affection? Obviously not and therefore, ‘True Love’ must be something more than just true ‘love’!
The most logical definition (anonymous) that I could find is that ‘True Love is when you put your loved one’s interests above your own’. It is when you consider their happiness and interests more important than yours and therefore you become ready to undertake anything to make that loved one happy. In other words, ‘True Love’ is nothing but the willingness to make sacrifices for the sake of love and to love someone, something without any expectation of quid pro quo.
‘True Love’, like most human emotions, can be either negative or positive, depending on what are the objects of love, and how it is expressed. Though the value judgement of negativity and positivity is dependent upon each one’s perceptions than any hard reality and has no relevance for our purpose, just to demonstrate the different kinds of True love let us have a look at the broadly.
Examples of positive side of True Love are in abundance, although we often take them for granted and thereby refuse to value them.
As for the negative side of it, ‘True Love' for one’s ideology or belief or faith or even country might make one do many a negative acts and deeds that one would otherwise not do. Similarly, ‘True Love’ towards a third person could rock the marriage of the lover. The negativity or passion associated with ‘True Love’ thus can make one blind to other values and even realities.
From the above, what we can decipher is the following:
- True Love is one of the human emotions
- True Love can be both positive and negative
- True Love is not affected by the objects but by the lover him/herself
- True Love cannot be generated by the objects or be affected by those objects
- True Love is internal to the lover
- True Love is different from Love; one can love and be loved without True Love.
Once we understand that the ‘True Love’ is internal to the lover, then what is left to complain? If we find lack of True Love, well, we should just go ahead and make an effort to start loving! And therefore, if we experience lack of ‘True Love’ in our life, it is not the fault of any other person but only of ourselves. We have not been able to identify and love someone or something truly.
We often forget this basic aspect of ‘True Love’ and start blaming others for the lack of it. We create expectations on the objects of our love; and we demand quid pro quo from the loved ones. The moment we do that, ‘True Love’ ceases to be ‘True Love’!
We also damage any love that might exist between us and others by mixing that love with True Love. Love does not mean that the lover will not look after his/her own interests vis-a-vis the loved. In love, there is a need to balance mutual expectations but in True Love the lover is expected to bear the burden of all sacrifices.
I am not going into the contention that whether such a ‘True Love’ with absolutely no expectation can exist at all. If that is the case, then why waste our time chasing such an unreal concept? We will, for the purpose of this post¸ assume that it is possible to have ‘True Love’ and then see where we can find it.
If we agree, for argument’s sake, that others’ qualities or lack of it affect one’s outwardly ‘True Love’, what stops us from showing some ‘True Love’ to ourselves? One basic question that all of us need to keep asking is, if we have True Love towards ourselves. Or would we sacrifice our own interests for some perceived and impermanent pleasures? If we can’t even make the sacrifice of a small habit like smoking or doing drugs when we know it is not in our own interests, how can we say that we have ‘True Love’ for self?
If we cannot love ourselves truly and sincerely, we cannot expect others to love us! Others will start loving us only when we start to believe that we deserve our own love.
Always remember that if others develop ‘True Love’ it will only benefit them. For us to benefit, we need to develop ‘True Love’ within ourselves. ‘True Love’ always flows outward and therefore; don’t go afar looking for it... Look within with compassionate eyes and we shall find the ‘True Love’!