Tales From the Chair: What is Love?

by: Colby Kauffman

Firstly, how can we define love, or what-is-love? Love is a sensation through the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual senses. When music is playing, it stimulates your ears and moves your soul. When watching fireworks at night, it hypnotizes your eyes and inspires your spirit. Honestly, what is the feeling you get when an attractive stranger gives you a pleasant smile unexpectedly? Defining what-is-love has been the work of various types of artists throughout time. We all know love when we feel it. We all want to be loved. There is no denying it. Yet, it is still a mystery in many ways. It is a huge subject to explore. It is compassionate, romantic, generous, heart-felt, funny, and heals all things. It can be expressed in numerous ways. To define what-is-love is difficult because we are not well educated about it in school from first grade to the first two years in college, compared to Math, for example. It can be a controversial and sensitive subject. The definition of love is still in its infancy. Hopefully, there will eventually be a large community of loveologists (scientists who specialize in love) that can define what-is-love and are able to offer important contributions to our world society, and I will volunteer to be the first.

Since we are in the season of giving and love I thought I would approach this question.  I spoke to a few different  people to get their thoughts and of course will give you mine.  When asking my 5 year old Sadie her response was “mommy is love”….of course this in return brought on an overwhelming feeling of warmth and love in my heart.  I do believe we love our children in a way that is different from all others, unconditionally, and there is almost no way to describe it to those who do not have children.  Love to some is wine, chocolate, football…there are so many levels of love.  When I asked my good friend Heather what love is to her this was her response:  “You are love, you show love in more ways than any other human being I know. You love wholehearted, and unconditional. You put your loved ones first and yourself last, that’s love. You shower your loved ones with gifts not because you’re trying to buy love but simply because you love to give, giving to you is love and the response from your loved ones when they receive a card, flowers, or even a present from you gives you gratitude and joy, more so than receiving something yourself, that’s love Colby. You are a very selfless person, and you love everyone who you care about SO much you sometimes forget to love you, that’s love. I don’t think anyone can ever love too much but I think you can love the wrong people too much. You can put all your love and effort into loving someone so hard and never receive any love back, that’s one way love, to me, and to me, love is a two way street.”  WOW!  In response to this I do admit she is right on my level of love to those around me.  I am definitely one who “loves hard” as my mother always says, and I truly expect nothing in return.  But love to me is JOY…I prefer love in my life above all other feelings.  I do believe without it life will be hard.  How amazing is it to offer people love whether it is in the form of a hug, a smile, a kiss, a letter, a poem, no matter how it is shown to you, receive it with everything you have and know that it is being given to you because that person wants too and it brings them love by doing it.  In return love others with everything you have.  Love to me is the simple joys of life….it is a connection you have with another person that you don’t have with anyone else. You enjoy everything about them, even their flaws.  Someone you love romantically, emotionally, physically, and unconditionally, your best friend (DB).  Your girlfriends…the ones who not only hold your hand when you cry, and cheer you on when you succeed, but hold your hair back on those crazy nights you wake up regretting! They are there for you anytime, day or night.    As Sophocles says: “One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love.”

I can certainly write all day on this topic because it is one I truly enjoy.  I ask you to go into this season of love and in the best way you know how, express it to those around you who mean “love” to you. Express it to those you don’t know with a smile or a simple hello, it could be the only form of love they receive.  No matter how you give love, perceive love, or accept love, know that life is short and no matter what, there is someone who thinks of YOU when they are asked the simple question: “What is Love?”

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

With all my love,