Dolly Koghar gives her generation’s take on the complex and profound nature of love.
When someone asked Louis Armstrong to define jazz, he replied, “If you have to ask, then you’ll never know.” So, when I asked my sources, “What does love mean to you?” I didn’t know quite what to expect, because in truth, love is who and what the Creator is, and it’s that same love that sustains His creation. Nonetheless, I got some pretty profound and unexpected feedback that proves, once again, that we seniors are well worth paying attention to. In fact, the response from one of my buddies was almost passable as a well-researched thesis, and here’s what he said:
“Love is a complex emotion and there’s no single definition, but it’s generally understood to be a deep feeling of affection and care for another person, which can be expressed through physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts, and quality time.
“Love has three components: intimacy, passion, and commitment:
- Intimacy is the feeling of closeness and connection with the other person, which involves sharing thoughts and feelings, including one’s own vulnerabilities.
- Passion is the intense excitement and attraction towards the other person. It’s too often associated with physical intimacy, but it’s also expressed through intellectual or emotional connection.
- Commitment is the belief that the relationship is worth fighting for and worth staying in, even through difficult times.
“There is no one right way to experience love, as long as it is genuine and heartfelt. Some people feel love very intensely, while others experience it more subtly. Some express their love openly and easily, while others are more reserved. Love is a powerful emotion that brings joy and happiness, but it’s also a source of pain and heartbreak. But even in its darkest phase, love teaches us valuable lessons. The benefits of love include:
- People in a loving relationship are happier and healthier, and live longer, since love reduces stress and boosts the immune system.
- Love challenges us to become better versions of ourselves; it helps one to grow in empathy, forgiveness, and compassion.
- Love coddles us to feel safe and secure and supported; this sense of belonging gives a purpose to life.
“Love isn’t always easy, especially in the face of life’s challenges. Nonetheless, the rewards of love are far greater. Love is one of the most powerful and transformative experiences of life.”
Here are other responses from those on the ‘sassy’ side of sixty, plus a couple of bonus respondents:
- “What is love? It’s too broad a question, but to me, love for a spiritual Master is the highest form of love. Nevertheless, I’ve experienced the sensation of intense love, albeit fleeting; one that lasted but a few months; and one that lasted some short years. It uplifted me to a hitherto unexperienced, unadulterated ‘high,’ best expressed in the song “Whenever You Come Around” by Vince Gill & Alison Krauss.”
- “Love means listening without judging, helping without publicising, not back-biting, forgiving even if hurt, and treating the other with respect!”
- “Love is a missed heartbeat when he calls; the thrill of spotting him across a crowded hall. Love for me, means, that he chooses to come home to spend his evenings and share his life with me.”
- “Love is bonding.”
- “True love is when one has felt God’s love within oneself, after which it’s possible to look at everyone with pyar de nazar (see everyone with love), despite their shortcomings.”
- “Love is unconditionally caring and supporting someone in good and bad times, without expectations.”
- “I discovered the definition of true love during my husband’s last few months, when his life was slowly ebbing away and he was in a semi-coma state, and yet every time I held his hands, his heart beat and BP would revive. Till that one day when seeing him suffer so much and for so long, I whispered, ‘it’s ok, you can go and I’ll be fine,’ and then he breathed his last. I can still feel his presence, after all these years.”
- “Putting up with people though you don’t want to!” – a young mum
- “When you blush and feel funny in the stomach,” – a six-year-old with a crush