I have a confession to make. I’m quite curious about what it means to be in love. Don’t get me wrong, I do love. I feel love very often, many many times each day, and tears can and often do come to my eyes just from the sensation of that love. But that love comes and goes, comes and goes, comes and goes. I will witness someone’s sweetness and the unmistakeable sensation of love will arise in me. I’ll be touched by someone’s generosity, or their kindness, goodness, sensitivity, vulnerability, support, beauty, selflessness, or resilience, and my heart will undoubtedly be touched and the sensation of love will arise.
I continue to see through this exploration of my life that only that which is experienced within the moment within which it arises is true, and it is only true within that moment. Everything else that I might think to be true is based on speculations about the future or reflections of the past. So what then of the idea of being “in love” with someone.? Being in love seems to imply to me a belief or trust that love still exists even if it may not be being felt in each moment.
I actually find it surprisingly easy to love people, even those whom I find I may not necessarily like so very much. In fact, I find that the experiencing of love in my life is one of the most sincere and true pleasures I know. There is, however, a significant difference between loving someone and being “in love” with someone. Is “in love” simply the addition of sexual love to ordinary love? I don’t think so, although I think that can often play a strong role in convincing people of their “in loveness.” Being in love, at least to me, implies an awareness of the continuity of love coupled with a sense of devotedness to the object of that love.
But is there actually a true “in love” experience? One in which someone is actually in love and doesn’t just believe themselves to be so? One not based in delusion or projection? One not based in some form of fear or need based attachment? I’m not actually feeling at all cynical here, I’m honestly quite curious. Is there an actual felt experience of being “in love” in a clear, true sense, or is it simply a belief? What is that? What are the qualities? I’m not quite so curious about what it feels like to love someone, because I have ready access to those feelings, but to be “in love…?” Therein lies the object of my curiosity.
Just one more peculiarity: in looking on google images for something to support this “in love’ topic, the most popular images which come up for the keywords “in love” are images of cats an kittens licking and kissing each other. Very strange that our strongest visual association of being in love by far seems to be that of cats grooming each other. Somehow doesn’t bode well.