“Love isn’t a decision. It’s a feeling. If we could decide who we loved, it would be much simpler, but much less magical” – Trey Parker
I came across an article stating the following:
“Love is not a feeling, love is a decision you make and continue to make in order to create an experience that is described as love. Love is not something that happens to you but something that you make happen to you and happen to others. Love is something that grows from your actions and decisions.” ~ Grant Cardone
I wholeheartedly disagree.
When it comes to love, I don’t think we have the slightest amount of say in the matter. It truly would be so much simpler if we did. But love doesn’t work that way, at least it doesn’t for me.
I don’t believe we can create it as an experience or something that we can make happen. If, however, we replace love with relationship or marriage, then yes, I completely agree. But I think it is almost impossible for a relationship or marriage to continue to grow when the feeling has changed into a version that no longer serves either person. Or, it is only serving one and stifling the other. Love, the experience of love, at least my experience of love, has been anything but a decision I was given to make.
I think the essence of our relationships is how we love. This is a decision we have to make, and it is a crucial one. If we don’t decide how we love, if we don’t work like hell to cultivate love, then that love succumbs to complacency…and that is most assuredly how you will convince love not to stay.
The whole thing is just complicated. There are so many types, shades, and degrees of love. Love changes- it evolves, it transforms, it wanes, it conforms, it transcends, it destroys.
But love’s one constant? It most definitely does not wait to be chosen. It’s a bit too cheeky for that. It points, it aims, and it shoots. Think about it. Have you ever seen a picture of cupid sitting passively, arrow in lap, pleading, “Pick me!”?
“Love isn’t a decision. It’s a feeling. If we could decide who we loved, it would be much simpler, but much less magical” ~ Trey Parker
It can be a fickle thing, love, and it can also be relentlessly loyal. It can take hold of us, penetrate our soul and overtake every aspect of our lives. It can prove itself to be as essential as our first breath, but its absence can feel indistinguishable from our last. Love, unrequited, feels like a fate much worse than death.
Unrequited love. God, if this was only a decision we could make- just decide we no longer love someone who isn’t reciprocating our love or force ourselves to reciprocate it for someone in a way we know they deserve. It just doesn’t work that way. We can try to force it, generate more of it, resist it, or diminish it. Most of us have done all of the above. We hold on too tightly or let it go out of fear- fear of hurting someone or getting hurt, of losing someone or being left. We fool ourselves into believing that we can conjure up more, that we can practice love and get better at it, that we can keep rehearsing until the feeling takes hold and we no longer have to think about what the next steps are. It will guide us, without effort or thought….or feeling.
I always find it interesting when people throw around the term ‘unconditional love’ as if it is something that is attainable for the average person in any given relationship. I think most would agree that the closest thing to it in the human experience would be the love between and parent and child. But the reality is, there are always conditions. There are conditions we must set for others in exchange for receiving our love. Distancing ourselves from abusive relationships with our parents, for example, is a condition that most of us will establish if we are unfortunate enough to have to make this decision. But this does not mean that our love for them is diminished, it just represents the boundaries we have to set for our survival if nothing else. Some might say that this type of relationship and abuse actually morphs their love into hate. I understand this and have experienced it to some level. But, as previously stated, I believe this hate can only exist because of the immense love that preceded it (see blog post, “Love & Hate”).
For most all other relationships, love is most definitely conditional, but I do not think it is optional. We can try to force it, generate more of it, resist it, or diminish it. Most of us have done all of these. We hold on tightly or let it go out of fear- fear of hurting someone, of getting hurt, of losing someone, of being left. We fool ourselves into believing that we can conjure up more, that we can practice love and get better at it, that we can keep rehearsing until the feeling takes hold and we no longer have to think about what the next steps are. It will guide us, without effort or thought….or feeling.
Is this still love? It is a version of love. But I think it is a love programmed to stay in a relationship, not the kind, the true and enduring kind, that will make love stay. It is a residual love. It is a muted shade of love, faded into something that can still be beautiful, but only when seen with no way to compare it to what it once was. It is a love that will forever long to radiate beyond the superficial, to expose its depth, its layers, and its brilliance.
It is love, but it is not the love I would wish for the ones I love, and it is not the love I want from the ones who do not truly feel love for me.
“Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet.” – Tom Robbins
To access Dave Cardone’s article: Love: Decision or Feeling