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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A Closer Look at Love

Painted hearts What else could be discussed on Valentine's Day, but the subject of ?

The topic has got thinkers, writers, poets, paupers and kings talking for thousands of years, and seeing as the world's greatest talents haven't been able to give a comprehensive answer, obviously I won't have a pithy sentence to give you here.

The best I can do is try to give an insight on what love means and what it has taught me.

After all, what else is love but the most human of perspectives?

Maxims for Lovers
Here are some sayings on love from lovers:

  • Love shouldn't be hard work.
  • Every woman has one man from her past who will always be welcome in her present, and if you're not he, then your relationship with her will be in chronic jeopardy.
  • Nice eyes, a great smile and a sense of humour on a man is like long legs, big breasts and a short skirt on a girl.

Here are two of my own:

  • The best remedy for love is heat. The best remedy for a fever is a cold shower. This is my way of saying never let your need exceed your love.
  • Never give a woman commitment when she wants her freedom, never give her freedom when she wants a commitment. A boy will not know the difference, a man will.

The Art of Loving
Man is in the word 'woman' and as the world turns, man will always be in woman.

Man is in woman's heart as she looks for connection and meaning, and as her partner he will be in her physically and emotionally.

The reverse is also true, possibly even more so.

Man is made from woman. He is given life through her. As a child and man, he is nurtured and cherished by woman.

Sex is an important part of that relationship.

Arguably, the greatest connection between the two sexes should not just be sexual or sprirtual, but both. With this in mind, as men we should realise that sex comes with great responsibility. Sometimes two incomplete parts come together to make a whole, and sometimes two completely independent strong beings come together to make a whole new being.

Sexual love or just sex is an art that should be tasteful. We should not cheapen sex.

I am not talking about sex games. Such games are great for partners to spice up their sex life, played with mutual trust and respect. These experiences are important to keep love fresh or the act of sex exciting.

I mean that we should not see our sexual partner as merely an object. Great sex is not only when bodies come together, but when spirits collide. When that happens, you can be as dirty and as naughty with your partner as you want.

Freedom in Love
Love should be kept in an open space, not a cage.

Human beings are in essence spirits yearning for connection, and we should make sure that the connection is clear and not blocked with insecurities about ourselves, because we cannot live up to expectations of modern society.

We should respect this beautiful union in all its guises allowing love to act as the bond between people, and not to limit our emotions to religious dogma. Love should not just be an answer to your problems, but it should create enough passion to make you ask questions, too.

Whatever the reason behind searching for connection through love or sex, one thing is very important - only respect and proper nurturing through love will give us happy, healthy relationships and will make us treat sex and our partners responsibly.

What is Love?
Even though I have expressed in another post that Valentine's Day shouldn't be restricted to lovers, ironically a large part of my post so far has been about just that. It's natural if we believe that chemical attraction is the axis the world turns upon.

Sexual connection between people reflects only one type of love, but arguably it is the most important for us in some respects, because as humans striving for connection, emotional and physical love between two people is possibly the most deepest type of connection you can get.

It has such a lasting effect on us that after we connect sexually, sometimes we feel that the connection remains to bridge the gap of space we make as we separate from each other.

I've tried to describe that particular effect in poems. In one Turkish poem of mine, I state:

Sensizliğin içinde yine sen var kalan,
Yanlızlıkta silinmeyen bir de imzan

Even in your absence you still remain,
To the loneliness you'll sign your name

Clearly as fundamental it is in my life, love is an important part of all our lives.

The Different Faces of Love
Valentine CardsLove as an emotion has many other guises.

Motherly love, brotherly love, sisterly love, religious love, spiritual love, love of a nation can be the driving force for ordinary people to do the extraordinary.

Love can be expressed through sacrifice and forgiveness. Yet love of one's self may also mean not forgiving, or forgiving but staying away. We must know when the right time is to love ourselves over loving someone else more.

In certain circumstances pity or need can be mistaken for love.

Love can be patience, or keeping faith in someone else. Love is hope.

Love can be all about association. We love those things we associate with good memories, for example.

Love can be a magnet to opposites, or a recognition of equals.

Love can be born out of hate.

Sometimes love can be just a kiss or a word softly spoken.

But Love can also hurt. Depending on our understanding of ourselves, love can make or break you. This is possibly our greatest emotion's greatest paradox .

Whatever love means, one thing is certain. Love will be as diverse and different as the human beings who feel it.

Pictures courtesy of BBC News, Les Arts Turcs and public domain stills.

End of part one | Part two

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