Love is a strange thing

I was listening to this TED Radio podcast this morning where they discussed at length “7 Deadly Sins”, one of them being – LUST. They talked about how you can be married or in a monogamous relationship and still not be able to completely deny LUST. The expert even had a perfect example for it. He said “Just because you’ve chosen to become a vegetarian, doesn’t mean bacon doesn’t smell good.” Hah!

On the same topic, they also touched briefly on the swinging lifestyle and polyamory. In today’s age where swinging and polyamory are not as taboo anymore, LUST seems to be losing it’s luster. LUST is wrapped into the relationship as a “nice to have” or sometimes even a “must have” to sustain the spirit of the relationship. For you to LUST that way though, without jeopardizing your relationship, there must be first and foremost unconditional LOVE and TRUST. LOVE because maybe you began the experiment for your more adventurous partner and TRUST because you need to be sure that both you and your partner will go home together.

That further made me wonder what lengths one may go to in the name of LOVE. There is of course the healthy form of LOVE, where you truly love the person you’re with and will do what needs to be done to make sure you are both happy. Then there is the warped form of LOVE where you dote on your “person” and bend over backwards to make sure they stay with you, even if it means you being miserable. This usually stems from fear of abandonment, fear of being alone, fear of even dying alone. That fear is real, it is debilitating and if not kept in check, overpowering. However, the minute it’s fear, and not actual love that starts dictating your actions, it is time to step back and evaluate your life.

For example –

In the healthy form of LOVE, you and your partner have a life outside of each other, because that brings the experiences from other areas that help you, and in turn your partner grow. You cherish time with each other but you also value other interactions and pursuits that make you feel alive.

In the other form, you allow your partner to go out and do things on their own because you think preventing them will make them leave you. You let them enjoy things they like because you think if they are happy, they will stay. The flip side is you control every aspect of their life, making sure you never let them out of sight, never let them go anywhere without you in tow, never have a life outside of you. They stay because you’ve made it impossible for them to leave.

LOVE is a strange thing. It exhibits itself in varied ways. Real love however was designed to be given unabashedly and generously, first to oneself and then to others, just like those oxygen masks on flights. LOVE needs to be unconditional and not rationed based on events and offenses. We don’t have to nor will we love every person we meet in our life, but for those we love, it needs to be unwavering and absolute. Only then can we form strong, everlasting and fulfilling ties. An open heart undeniably traces a direct line to an open mind and a healthy body.

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