“Define love,” he said. “Explain how your definition has changed from your earlier notions.”
I answered rather quickly, “Contentment with the other person, contentment with who I am around this person, contentment with our similarities as well as our differences. Contentment with each other’s values and perceptions of the world.” Contentment, contentment, contentment. I also used the words delight, respect and passion.
Lies, all lies. I didn’t mean to. I thought I was being truthful when these words escaped from my lips. But, I’ve been thinking this weekend. I’ve been thinking a lot.
Contentment, yes. I have to admit that that decription is probably true. It’s a flaccid definition for a rich emotion like Love. Are my feelings really so pale? Where does that word “contentment” come from in matters of my heart? I’m never satisfied with the one I’m with. I’m always trying to change them – to want more from them. If I could look past these perceived shortfalls, then mustn’t it truly be Love. But, don’t I deserve more than mere contentment?
Passion? I’ve had passion; more passion than one young girl should suffer. That is a double-edge sword of emotion. Passion quickly mutates from the fire of romance to the heat of hate and anger. I’ve been subjected to one too many screaming fits to require passion in my Love. Perhaps “desire” is a better description. Yes, Desire.
Delight is too easy. I delight in the sound of rain outside of my window, in a sleeping kitten, in a new jar of Nutella. I should hope I delight in the one I love. And respect? That’s another given. I must respect my boss, my coworkers, my friends. Of course I need respect.
So, what, really, defines Love for me? The truth is that I’m clueless. I’m reluctant to say that I’ve ever really been in love and I’m no longer convinced that I will ever be. Today, I question if Love really exists. Perhaps elusive Love is merely a stew of contentment, passion, delight and respect – or perhaps Love is a figment.