Oh, how this spring of love resembleth, the uncertain glory of an April day, which now shows all beauty of the Sun, and by and by a cloud takes all away -The Two Gentlemen of Verona -Shakespeare
Spring is in the air. Yet, what would spring be without love? We've heard that love is always a many splendid thing but what exactly is this thing called love?
In my soon to be released book Infinite Everyday Understanding: When Things Ain’t All Good, I discuss love in the following way.
“Love is a trick of the Universe designed to momentarily return us to the collective consciousness that we existed in on the other side. It is the closest two human beings can come to a unified consciousness.”
For others, love is an intangible feeling that connects you to a person in a deep way that makes everything seem more alive and better. For those approaching it from a scientific perspective it has more to do with physiological and chemical reactions that affect us psychologically and emotionally.
In a February article in Science News Magazine entitled “'Love' hormone has a dark side,’the writer discusses research showing the hormone Oxytocin-long attributed to engendering feelings of love and trust may not simply be just a ‘love’ hormone.
According to a study by Dr. Jennifer Bartz, a psychiatrist at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Oxytocin does not simply promote feelings of love but in reality amplifies the feelings we already possess. Therefore, for those who are trusting and open-Oxytocin could magnify those personality characteristics. At the same time if a person is suspicious and distrustful, the hormone may serve to accentuate those negative characteristics.
What lay analysts might be able to determine from the recent findings on Oxytocin is that the mere act of being in love may feel very good, but cannot heal us.
Often times in an ever-increasing socially voyeuristic world where online interactions continue to displace good-old fashion human interactions, many of us still seeking love, find loneliness an easier existence than in previous times. We look at loneliness as some type of physical defect that will change once we find someone to love us. We view being in love as the missing link to what’s wrong with our lives or as some magical elixir that will ultimately grant us the ability to love ourselves once someone else loves us despite our faults.
Yet what the research on love’s hormone shows us is that nothing outside of ourselves can truly heal us.
Should we find love without addressing our internal issues, we bring those issues to our new relationships. In fact, being in love as the research indicates might only intensify whatever shortcomings we have. If we are, open, trusting and accepting ourselves, we may be ready for love, but finding love won’t make us a better person or help you improve those aspects of your personality that need improvement. That is something you must do regardless of whether you are in love or alone.
Despite sometimes overwhelming feelings of being alone, if we are alone, it is likely that as a co-creator of our experience we created these moments to help us grow more accepting and intimate with ourselves.
Spending time alone can be used to begin a love affair with ourselves that allows us to embark upon a path of unconditional love and acceptance of ourselves-first. The world is a reflection of our interaction with it, and through unconditional love and acceptance of ourselves; we are better able to give this energy to the rest of the world and get it back.
As the weather warms and symbols of love begins to saturate the air conspiring with floral scents to add that pep to our step, remember that being in love is great but it won’t heal us. The only thing that can show us how to truly love others and put us on the path towards healing is the unconditional acceptance and love of ourselves.
J.K. Melki Russell is a journalist, scholar, and teacher. His new book “Infinite Everyday Understanding: When Things Ain’t All Good,” will be available in bookstores everywhere summer 2011.