Thanatos – death
Agápe – true love, not eros or philia
Opsis – sight
Thanatopsis, translated as meditation on death. The title of a poem by Bryant
Agapeopsis, meditation on true love?
Yup. That’s right. That’s my word. The dictionary people can’t hog them all. I’ve checked google and bing. If it doesn’t show up on a search it much not exist in the world. So I’ve now created it.
So what am I talking about.
True love right? Of course you and I already know everything there is about this. What was that? You fell off the chair while spewing your drink out of your nose. Wear a harness next time. Perhaps we don’t know as much as we thought. And I probably understand even less than that.
Getting back into the dating scene I’ve rejoined online sites and they all seem to want to know about past loves and how many times in love and do you want love. The more I think about it, the less I think I even know. For the longest time I would answer “Yes, I’ve been in love. I want love. I love falling in love.” With my ex Natalie I thought I had it all. The moment and I mean that literally, I saw her at my door I fell for her. Done and done. She had heard I didn’t have a blanket and it was going to be cold. She brought me her extra. Seriously. How awesome. And while I’ve heard otherwise from people, I think she was smoking hot. I remember times I told her I loved her. I would hope she would say the same back. Ups and downs for almost two years. Joyous highs and painful lows. Together and broken up and together again. With all my love I even spontaneously asked her to marry me at one point. I should have realized things were set to fail when after all our time together she couldn’t spell my last name. I digress.
But still, what is love? Is it physical? Our heart beats faster, flushing occurs, blood surges, leaving some parts and rushing to others parts of the body that might be umm needed sooner or later. The mind locks on target to that one person. But that’s just for our partner. I remember full well just how stupid I could become when I was with her. We have powerful chemicals that roll around our brains, neurons firing like crazy. Crazy like our emotions can be and powerful the way it can push aside logical rational thinking.
You also love your siblings and your children and parents and some people love possessions and non-live material items. I was going to say inanimate, but technology already changed that one. We’re supposed to love all these people right? Isn’t it an instinct? Then why do people beat their children, hate their siblings and wish to leave their wonderful loving family as soon as they can get some shoes on, maybe even before that.
In loving, we want good for someone. We want them to succeed and prosper. We want to provide a better future to them than we had ourselves. If you are jealous of the sibling that had a chance and took it and prospered, do you really love them? If you envy their possessions or life, that isn’t love to me.
We see love in the proud parent that never finished middle school now seeing their child graduate college. The joy and flow of emotions and tears can be overwhelming not just for them, but as well for those of us watching them. It’s palpable. It’s visceral. To the core we might be moved. What about the parent that is thinking how wonderful it is now that their child has finished college that they will be able to get a good job and have a good life so they can take care of the parents when they get older. That sounds selfish to me.
Love seems like a balancing act. One moment you want good for someone, the next you want to be the one going on the vacation that they are going on and cursing them for not taking you. They left you with a crappy life, a horrible spouse, rotten screaming kids and massive bills. If you are trying to fill a void within yourself, try at the basic level of filling it with love of yourself.
How about this idea. One that I’ve cultivated in myself and hope others agree with as well.
Love is an extension of our self.
Really. That’s it.
When I think about those that I choose to love I have what I think is a central theme.
We sacrifice our wants and needs for another.
The sacrifice? Could it be this simple?
The parent seeing their child finish something, sacrificed their self to further their child. Maybe it was not being home much to earn a living and feeling guilty you weren’t around often.
Seeing your parent overcome an obstacle they were facing because you sacrificed your time and energy to help them.
Staying up late or getting up early to make dinner and breakfast for the love your life because they have a job interview or presentation they are nervous about.
Who can say what is a small or large sacrifice.
One hour of sleep gone while you drive around searching for the craving of your pregnant wife.
Holding the hair of your girlfriend as she pukes her guts into the toilet so she doesn’t get it dirty.
Working a thankless low paying job to put your son through college so he can have a better life than one you are living.
Finding yourself in a place in life where you can’t take care of yourself and you put your child up for adoption. With all the pain of leaving them and the joy in the dream that they will have a better life.
Maybe it’s because valentines was just around the corner and equally so for my own personal situation but this is a life lesson and a life struggle that has been present and will continue to be a part of me. I continue to believe that I’m not a good person but I try and be a nice person.
“When I love myself I sacrifice for me. When I love others I give of myself.” -Nirav 2/18/13 18:30
-Santa’s Fallen Angel