Back in 1968 my friend Adrian Henri wrote a short poem entitled ‘Love Is’, often performed by him as part of the Liverpool Scene poetry rock band.
The poem was about romantic love, but also about erotic love – it depended on how he read it.
But here’s the thing.
The word ‘love’ is used by you and I to mean lots of different things.
There is a difference in the first place between romantic and erotic or perhaps carnal love and there may be a gradation between the three.
The Ancient Greeks had several words for love but even these break down into different sub meanings.
Romantic love can often be confused with or likened to what I would describe as Aspirational love which again can be subdivided into that which you would ‘love to have’ or ‘love to be’ or who you would ‘love to be with’ and that which you may aspire to but cannot be or have for one reason or another.
Looking at this emotion or feeling in another way there are such things as the ‘Love of God’ for which the Greeks used the word Agape – ‘the love of God for man and of man for God’ but the word was also used for what I’d describe as Familial love – parents and children.
But the Greeks also used the word Storge for the love within families although this also meant empathy or even just the ability to ‘put up’ with something because of the relationship.
It seems that they were as confused about this ‘special relationship’ with people, entities or ideas as we still are in the 21st century!
And then we have what the Greeks called ‘Philial’ love, meaning love between equals, non-romantic love, love of a career, ‘brotherly love’ between non-relatives, and the sort of feeling or emotion that arises when people talk of their ‘love’ for a particular sports team, activity or occupation.
And what about love for the environment, for the planet, for sunshine or snow and so on?
And love for one’s country or community or language, or love for a particular type of music, love for your pets – the list is seemingly endless.
Never mind ‘fifty shades of grey’, when you and I think about it there seem to be many more than fifty shades of love.
Which means that we have to be very careful how we use the word.
The consequences of it being mis-applied or misinterpreted can range from just ‘embarrassing’ to disastrous.
You see, ‘Love’ comes from the heart and not the head, and it’s very rarely ‘logical’ – but it’s received first by the head, not the heart, and assessed and analysed before it can be passed on to the heart, the emotions.
The ‘logical’ brain gets in the way. It ascribes a ‘meaning’ to the word which may or may not be what is intended.
When it gets it right all is well, but when it gets it wrong, the chance of which is much greater than it getting it right, it’s difficult to predict what is going to happen next.
So you and I need to be careful how we use the word love; we know what we mean but other people may not. The context must be declared and made clear.
Remember that resistance is created by lack of clarity and if you and I are not clear about how we mean ‘love’ then there will be a resistance to acceptance of that message by whoever we are communicating with.
And, guess what, this is also the case when we’re communicating internally with ourselves.
When we resolve that we would ‘love’ to do this or that or ‘love’ to have this or that, the ‘logical’ mind kicks in with “what do you mean by that?” or more often with “you can’t have or do that”.
Because we’ve not been clear with ourselves about what we mean.
You and I may think we know who we would ‘love’ to be, what we would ‘love’ to have, what we would ‘love’ to do and what we would ‘love’ to give. We think wo have a vision of the live we would ‘love’ to live
But do we?
Is it clear to the so-called ‘logical’ side of our brain, or does that ‘logic’ build barriers and limits against those wishes because they ‘don’t compute’?
“The computer says no” – and that’s often true about what goes on in our heads, the trouble is that ‘the computer’ doesn’t ‘tell’ us, it just gets on and finds ways of blocking that life we would ‘love’ to lead.
And then we have to spend effort and energy discovering and removing those blocks, that we’ve created, instead of working towards building and realising our dream.
The answer of course is to ensure in the first place that our vision is crystal clear, complete with all the ‘small print’ and nitty gritty details of what it is we really, really want.
No assumptions, no ‘givens’ no ‘grey areas’ no ‘could be this or could be that’.
If our vision or dream is absolutely clear and unambiguous it makes it a lot easier later on to go in and change the details, change the colours, adjust the script – provided the ‘new version’ also remains clear.
It’s not cast in stone; you and I don’t have to get it ‘right’ first time, but we do have to be clear.
Time to make sure my ‘vision’ is clear, and then get rid of the road blocks and traffic cones that are in my way.
How about you?