Love surely is a human construct. A hedge against the terror of mortality. I believe that, but it doesn’t account for the times I have felt it myself; with my parents, my mother especially (Damn! I love that woman), my romantic partners (there has been more than one; in gambling terms we would call that an over 1.5 bet) and my siblings. The way we love romantic partners, children, parents, siblings, friends and pets is different yet the basic emotion of feeling connected to another is similar.
We can love songs, movies and books because they move us emotionally. We can love goals because they inspire us to become better souls. We can love things, not so much because of each thing, but because of the experience and feeling we associate with them. It vexes, love is either a human construct or its real. The concept of love exists and therefore it is useful even if it is a human construct. It exists because it serves a need. A question that cannot be answered is why love is needed.
My journey in the quest for understanding love has made me view myself as a philosopher of sorts (there is a reason they call me the Philosopher King). Call it self-exaltation or whatever you will but it is this hunger for understanding that has led me to become particularly interested in how perceptions or human constructs are formed. That in turn has led me to the study of expectancy theory and self-fulfilling prophesies or the “Pygmalion effect” and to a realization of how deeply embedded our constructs and perceptions are. I have since learnt that we must look at the lens through which we see the world as well as the world we see and that the lens itself shapes how we interpret the world.
It’s only once in our lives, I truly believe, that we find someone who can completely turn our world around. After all, the Creator only took one rib and from it made one woman for each man. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful.
There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colors seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face.
In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.
People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But I do not believe in the idea of perfect soul-mates or love at first sight. However, I do believe that a few times in your life, if you are lucky, you might meet someone who is exactly right for you. Not because he/she is perfect, or because you are, but because your combined flaws are arranged in a way that allows two separate beings to hinge together. A true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.
A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Naah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then maybe leave. A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life.
We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love—true love. Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up.
You may not be her first, her last, or her only. She loved before and she may still love again. But if she loves you now, what else matters? She’s not perfect, you aren’t either, and the two of you may never be perfect together but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break-her heart. So don’t hurt her, don’t change her, don’t analyze and don’t expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she’s not there.
He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.
This life is what you make it (the whole idea of human construct). No matter what, you’re going to mess up sometimes, it’s a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you’re going to mess it up. Girls will be your friends – they’ll act like it anyway. But just remember, some come, some go. The ones that stay with you through everything – they’re your true best friends. Don’t let go of them. Also remember, sisters make the best friends in the world. As for lovers, well, they’ll come and go too. And baby, I hate to say it, most of them – actually pretty much all of them are going to break your heart, but you can’t give up because if you give up, you’ll never find your soul-mate. You’ll never find that half who makes you whole and that goes for everything. Just because you fail once, doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.
To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.
I’ve been making a list of the things they don’t teach you at school. They don’t teach you how to love somebody. They don’t teach you how to be famous. They don’t teach you how to be rich or how to be poor. They don’t teach you how to walk away from someone you don’t love any longer. They don’t teach you how to know what’s going on in someone else’s mind. They don’t teach you what to say to someone who’s dying. They don’t teach you anything worth knowing. That’s why I’ll teach you a new concept today. Something worth knowing and a partial explanation of why I am the Philosopher King.
Constructive Alternativism: the idea that, while there is only one true reality, reality is always experienced from one or another perspective.
People today will have you believing life is a blank slate upon which you can write anything at all-this is poetic, even romantic. Unfortunately, it’s also a lie, because life exists in, is bound by, shaped by, controlled by, and functions within a construct. Attempt to function outside that construct, or bend it to our will, or remove it completely, and you throw all of society into chaos. We’re seeing that now. We define what we deserve, others also define what we deserve, apparently there is a huge difference and we spend our life constructing the same.
©Cooper Jose Njoroge (The Philosopher King)