What it means to love.

What true love means and can we propagate it.

The term love is one, I feel, has lost its true meaning for many.  What is love? More importantly what is true love? I am a great believer in the duality of existence, as well as the balance within this duality. Everything is a duality, two opposing elements. Not necessarily good and bad, but opposites nonetheless. Night has day, dark has light, hot has cold, and we have the seen and unseen.  Our perceived reality is manifest in the seen – the material.  Our material being experience is taking place in a material, physical form. But what about the unseen? Just because we can't perceive it, does not mean it does not exist.  
These days I feel we feed the material/physical side of our existence.  We experience the physical and learn nothing of the lesson to apply it to the unseen or spirit. The same goes for love.  We feed the material and physical facets of love. Movies, media and advertising all portray the glamorous, physical effects of love and tend to neglect the spiritual, unseen connection of true love. Our society has become obsessed with entertainment and with the advances of technology and the evolution of trends, we have almost forgotten what is real and what is entertainment.  The lines are so blurred. Everyone seems to want to buy the kind of love Hollywood sells in its movies and its reality television, ironically turning reality into television.  The young are the most impressionable.  They see the romance in drama, they think they are learning, but in fact are being entertained. Its become impossible to tell true love from Hollywood love.  Sex has become the new love, and that is what everyone is buying, and someone is making a killing of it.  True love is in the hands of the few who truly live love.  They understand and accept the concept and duality of love, the seen and unseen, the physical and spiritual.  Duality in the material also exists - The duality of the relationship, the duality of sex. The masculine and feminine and the balance within it all. Are we aware what true love really means, and are we physically-emotionally strong enough to support true love?
I believe we are both material/physical and spirit. I believe we are born with the right to be free, even though society, now, seems more of the opposite.  Freedom is something that runs in all of us, we have a yearning to be free and unrestricted. Our souls are infinite, but it is briefly kept in our very much finite, material body. Claustrophobic much? If you want to love, you have to accept and acknowledge freedom.  We are all familiar with the saying “If you love them, set them free.”, but sometimes it is not as easy as that. Sometimes situations between lovers causes feelings of jealousy, irritation and impatience. This is inevitable because we are all different.  We were all raised differently, we perceive things slightly differently, our logic and thinking is often different.  There are many contributing factors, but they all affect us, making us individual selves. 
The way in which we interact with the people we love is important, especially problem situations.  We are all susceptible to emotions, which can cause us to act in unfavourable ways, but I do believe we have full control of our actions, despite our emotional status.  We are unable to change the way we feel, but we can certainly control how those emotions are manifested physically.
Love is having the self control to put another ahead of yourself, despite the situation and they way you feel. It may hurt and tear you up on the inside, but if you cannot give another soul freedom, what love is that?

Do you love that someone enough to be uncomfortable for their happiness? I'm sure many of you are thinking, “But isn't love a 2 way street?”. There has to be give and take. Indeed there must be reciprocation for a relationship to be strong and healthy, but sometimes we fall into the illusion of loving for reward or loving for reciprocation. Love just is.  Love is not concerned about receiving  back, it just loves, unconditionally. Those who explode and react out of emotion, tend to react out of selfishness, because the situation is not in their favour.  
When we react out of emotion, it tends to cause the other to become defensive, and before you know it, things have escalated to a shouting match.
What if we were to control these primary, emotional defence mechanism we all have? Everything from what we say, to the intention and way we bring our thoughts across says volumes about our love for the other person. 
Although love is a two way avenue for you and your lover to explore, remember that it is ultimately how you treat, react and care for them.  You should love regardless of reciprocation and situation, because if you love just to be loved, you are loving for yourself and that is selfish. It is true, we cannot survive without being loved, but you need that true love. The love that knows no restrictions, no selfishness. True love is voluntary, because that is freedom. You cannot force to love, love just is.
love hands
Allow freedom, be mindful of your emotions and know yourself well enough to control your physical actions that are sparked by these emotions.  If you can rise above all the conflict and still talk to your lover with love-filled intention and with their interest at heart, then that is true love.