Love is a simple word with a very complex meaning, that even we try our best to explain it using all kind of expressions, chances that they are still not sufficient to reveal the “true” face of it.
Love involves mind, heart, soul and body, with different kind of engagement in each of the dimension. The quality and the wholeness of love may be measured by the degree of involvement of the four dimensions in the process of loving. Love will not be perfect if one dimension is missing.
The statement that to love shall not always mean to possess is an imperfection. It’s more a pat on the back for the broken hearts. For love to blossom at its fullest requires “body possession”, partly in the form of sexual relationship.
Another more famous statement is that love is blind. In reality love is rarely blind. Let me explain it using Takeuchi and Nonaka’s theory of paradox in knowledge management.
Life consists of opposites or paradox, such as light – darkness, good – bad, male – female, generous – stingy, rich – poor, etc. There are three relationships between paradox, the first one is that they are interdependent; it means that love exists (and becomes meaningful) because of the existence of hatred.
It wouldn’t make sense to talk about love if hatred does not exist. The deeper the love is, the deeper the hatred and the more devastating the consequences will be when it’s broken. To understand love, therefore, people need to understand hatred.
The second condition is that paradox interpenetrates. When a person falls in love, chances that there are elements of hatred in the relationship. When we hate somebody, there are elements of love involved. It explains fact of life why some of us finally married persons we really hated before.
The third condition is the unity of paradox. In the case of darkness and light, if we make darkness absolute, we will be blind; and if we make light absolute with no element of darkness at all, we will be equally blind. They unite at their extreme conditions.
Hence only when love is absolute, the person will be totally blind. Since there are four dimensions involved in the processes of loving, chances are small for the four dimensions to reach up to their extreme or at their absolute conditions at the same time.
We therefore shouldn’t feel that bad if we have never fallen in love in the purest condition, where there’s no element of hatred at all in our relationship with our lovers. Not many people want to be a blind person, and therefore love in the purest state is not what many people want to have. A certain degree of hatred is still needed, for people to be able to see.
It’s perfectly fine then to say that I love her, but I also hate her.
In the process of loving, it is a choice whether to love somebody the way you want, or to love somebody the way she or he wants. There is no one right answer for all situations. We have to find it by ourselves, and sometimes the lessons are quite painful and needs a lot of sacrifices, but that’s the flavor of love.
We will be blessed, and be cursed at the same time, when we can find a lover with whom we can share all the four dimensions of love: the mind, heart, soul and the body. But life is rarely perfect, and hence sometimes we need to make compromises. We may accept love even we miss one of the four dimensions, as long as we still can share lives with our lovers.
It reminds me to one of my most favorite songs, “Nature Boy” of George Benson that: “The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” Find yours then, and be comfortable if you are not blinded with the love you have. You are not alone.