recently i’ve been reading some thought catalog stuff.
it’s pretty interesting, and the writing’s pretty good, and it deals with issues which are common to humanity. things everyone is interested in. i must say i share a similar interest. so i read the articles and i guess, hey yeah this stuff probably does affect some people, in the sense that they experience this recognition of ‘oh dear this happens to me/has happened to me/might happen to me’.
but something that not-quite-irks me is the… attitude (for the lack of a better word) that a lot of the thought catalog writers have. no knock on them, of course, just my personal opinion. it all sounds very jaded, very supersaturated by mainstream culture and the artificiality of emotion in the modern world. but i’m not dissing thought catalog (in fact i think it is rather impressive and i appreciate what it stands for). i’m just commenting that the fact that people enjoy reading such material says something about our world today.
is love… quantified? reduced? i feel like there’s a reduction of love to something that everyone can understand. we try to put a number on relationships, classify dating in stages, and set specific time periods for our heart. yes i know these are guidelines (i have them myself) and they serve as a good reminder, but beyond that there seems to be a rather scientific approach to love. and the rest of all the emotional spectrum, by extension. its like human emotion has been bottled up and distilled. distilled in the sense that they have been isolated, not concentrated. we examine things like love and hope as phenomena, and we examine our experiences.
somehow there’s been a loss of the sense of wonder and adventure in just enjoying it all? i am not sure. there is an overanalysis of all this. reflection is good but there comes a point where we go beyond reflection into… i don’t know.
why? why? do people now see love as a sort of solution to all of life’s problems? because it is not. maybe that’s why relationships nowadays aren’t steady, why solid relationships are so few. i’m talking about relationships in general, not specifically BGR. love has become so commodified that it is represented as diamonds and perfumes and paper hearts. love isn’t a cure-all, it’s a process. oops here i am guilty of trying to put a label to it. maybe that’s the word… we’re trying to ‘label’ love.
but the problem here is that (okay it isn’t a problem per se) love is BEYOND a label. in any relationship love is both the problem and the solution (sort of). there is no fixed thing that can provide you with love… just add water! kind of things. see this whole cultural phenomena thing fascinates me greatly. has our culture of instant gratification ingrained in us an attitude where we automatically assume that saying ‘i love you’ guarantees a steady relationship? when in the end it becomes nearly a dangerous landmark on the emotional landscape, where people don’t dare to say it in fear that it might jeopardize a relationship. ‘i love you’ – three words that should be the biggest and simplest expression but have become three words that people tread ever so carefully around. how sad!
the thing is that love has become so conditional today. everything comes with appendices and clauses and agreements and lines for you to sign on, even if you don’t see them. that’s what i think of the world at large anyway. it’s become so legalized and formalized and there’s no longer any joy to it. an utterly deplorable state of affairs. it’s like everything has been thrown into muted pastel watercolours… gone are the sharp vivid 1000000dpi mega high definition colours of reality like they used to be.
and our understanding of love has shifted. in any relationship where love is assumed and socially constructed and accepted to exist, there is an underlying understanding that if A loves B, A should act in a certain manner towards B. but this ‘loving manner’ is impossible to keep up under normal circumstances. herein lies the problem, is it not? that’s why i think so many relationships break down or simply don’t reach their fullest potential (for both parties). but it is love that allows you to move beyond human exasperation and frustration and consciously want to continue to love the other party, even if you feel aggrieved and stuff. that’s why love is both the problem and solution.
but now i think we have moved away from really understanding what love is. what is love? i don’t see many people asking that question. it’s like we think we all know what love is. but do we? its more of something taken for granted, something that will solve itself. but the thing is that because we think it to be conditional, we think that whatever love we express will be reciprocated, and then beat ourselves up when it is not. people term this the cycle of relationships and say it is part of life. while i acknowledge that yes there is some value in going through the ups and downs in life, life should be happy and joyous! and we should not be sad.
maybe that’s why people find it hard to accept God’s love. i can’t believe it myself sometimes. that’s the miracle of it all, i guess. it is really quite mind boggling.
love is a one-way thing. there are no conditions to it. that famous passage of 1 Corinthians in which Paul describes love? it says it all, what love is.
love is patient, love is kind. it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. love never fails.
the sheer scope and epicness of this just stuns me repeatedly, and even more so as i read what i have already typed earlier on. is this why people struggle to accept the very nature of God’s love? because it seems so impossible in today’s world?
nat king cole sang a song about love. a song which i like to listen to: it is very nice! you can listen to it here.
the lyrics go
L is for the way you look at me
O is for the only one i see
V is very very extraordinary
E is even more than anyone that you adore
but what is the focus? with a cursory examination of the lyrics using my vaunted literary analytical skills (about the only skill you get from studying lit, ha-ha. not exactly extremely practical) reveals that the persona’s attitude towards love is very self-centric. a love song is meant to be sung to someone… but instead we see that the persona is thinking of his own love instead of giving it. there’s a selfish undercurrent to the whole thing. okay you can agree to disagree here but my point is that love is not perceived as the gift which it is: freely given with no expectation that it will be well received. love is expectation-free – something we don’t deal very well with today, especially when we’re the ones who are giving it out.
ohwell i have reached my targeted end of the post (i talked about all i wanted to talk about) but i realise i don’t really have a conclusion in the sense that i have no final takeaway point of sorts. nevertheless… we will endeavour to make some sort of point about it. without sounding cheesy. alright its going to sound cheesy but IT SHOULDN’T BE CHEESY, if you follow my semi-argument.
love is beautiful and we should let it be that way! not coddle it and bottle it. sounds like a kinda lame conclusion. but love shouldn’t be causing pain (though it does. i mean not permanent, i’m-never-gonna-fall-in-love-again emotional scarring kind of pain) but instead be the primary vehicle through which we experience God and each other!
and now some random titbits, so you, dear reader, have more inane insights into my life.
1) the celtics lost. boohoo!
2) bosh is injured ):
3) many many many things to do in hall. much. much much.
4) linky is back D:
5) i had 2 readers from the UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. HOW COOL IS THAT?!