By Marcela Owen
What is love? Everyone has their own version and definition. Love to me has many definitions and categories. There’s unconditional love, there’s platonic love, there’s environmental love, organic love, and irresistible love. Everyone is going to have their own thoughts and views on love. Our interpretation of love varies depending on life experiences, how we grew up, who we grew up with, where we grew up, what friends we have, how close we are to our family as adults and a myriad of other factors. In an effort to make this section as unique as possible, I decided to reach out to people from all walks of life, gender and ages to ask about love. Then I interviewed them about the subject of love and their perspective. All feedback and quotes have not been altered or edited. In an effort to honor all the folks that graciously agreed to provide me their feelings about love, I’m keeping all names, gender and ages anonymous. My reasoning for including other people’s thoughts is simply to provide perspective and points of view, from a variety of angles not just mine.
I think love can change the world. What I mean is that love changes people and I have been changed by love, so I envision that collective love can change the world. My changes instilled by love were positive and I continue to experience positive outcomes by abiding to a life full of love. Before I go into my love stories and testimonies, I want to define a few types of love, these are my own definitions.
For some reason I keep touching upon unconditional love. I think it’s because I craved it so much as a child, and then even more in my teenage years. And my quest didn’t end there my adult life sought and longed for unconditional love as well. So what it is? It’s the type of love that fulfills your heart and soul. It fulfills your innermost feelings and desires. It represents that feeling that, no matter what, you will feel fulfilled and taken care of. I learned to provide unconditional love to myself before I could give it to others. Once I learned how to give myself absolute love, I became able to give it away to others. Unconditional means that no matter what you do or say, you love and forgive yourself without exception. I always learn from the mistakes that I make, and my experiences help me grow into a better, wiser person. Now, that I love myself unconditionally, I’m equipped to offer unconditional love to others. But I don’t just pour my unconditional love to anybody, not just anybody, I am selective. The beauty of it all is that you can be selective about who you choose to give this ultimate gift. Some people may confuse unconditional love with becoming some kind of victim. When you think you love someone and you provide that kind of love, the expectation is that they will reciprocate love back to you. But sometimes certain people are abusive, manipulative and toxic in our lives and they don’t give love in return at all. So we need to be careful about who we provide unconditional love to. In the past, I was blinded by a few manipulative individuals that gave me “fake” unconditional love, only to steal MY unconditional love. They tricked me into believing something that wasn’t real and genuine. Then with time, I realized that it was all a façade and that what I thought was unconditional love, was NOT at all. It was just a series of detrimental episodes in my life that I HAD to live through to learn, become wiser and prepare for my next phase of life.
This kind of love is magical to me. It’s that amazing, soulful connection that I feel with my close friends. In fact, this connection and feeling may not only take place with close friends, but with people in general, not just anybody of course, but those who I click with. You probably know the feeling, you meet someone, you feel a special connection, you feel at ease and they are easy to talk to. You don’t know what it is but you feel comfortable with that person and you feel like you’ve known them for a really long time. A have very few friends these days. But the ones that I have are special and I feel a deep connection with them. I’m selective when I pick my friends because I want to surround myself with open, positive and soulful people. Toxic behavior is not acceptable and I will not tolerate it. I always strive to build myself up with a humble and friendly demeanor. I make an effort to stay away from pessimism and I refuse to participate in drama and negativity. I just simply don’t condone that type of behavior and I deviate from it as much as necessary. So if need to, I will stand my ground and be firm in my morals and values, always maintaining high levels of respect and compassion for everyone involved.
When I speak about this particular kind of love, I don’t just mean the earth but really everything around us. I’m referring to familiar things, special places, meaningful pictures, your favorite painting, your favorite mug, things of that nature. I could go on and on for a very long time describing all sorts of items. And even though these items are special to me, you may not feel love for these items at all because it’s such a personal preference. I have love for special things that make me happy. I don’t consider myself materialistic or heavily attached to any of these items, I simply enjoy them. Some of these environmental “loves” may simply consist of my surroundings at home, at a local park or beach. When I talk about loving these things, I’m talking about caring for them and maintain them so I can keep them around. I hope I’m not sounding like a hoarder. That would completely contradict my entire section on de-cluttering! I simply have love for my surroundings at home, out in nature, different places in the world and a few more melancholic items that take me back to joyful memories. Sometimes when I experience a challenging moment in my life, I pull my special box of pictures and remember good times that I’ve lived. I love those pictures and I love the feelings that those pictures evoke. Especially because they help me remember all those great times filled with love, laughter, happiness and joy.
This one is a little bit hard to explain without sounding like a fanatic nut! But I will make an attempt. I love natural and organic everything. These terms may be defined differently by different people, but I will do my best to explain what I mean. Let’s take the word organic and dissect it a little bit. Most people think of organic foods, when the word organic comes up. Part of what I mean is that I love consuming organic foods, but in some cases, the word organic is interchangeable with the word natural. I define natural, organic love as the appreciation of a natural lifestyle. I love the feeling of participating in an organic lifestyle that is free of harmful components. For any product or environment, the more natural means the less genetically modified outcome. Organic love has to do with a connection with our local farmers, our local health food store and our local green businesses. But there’s also common sense involved, to help us bring awareness to the organic space in the world, and identify what is truly organic and natural and what is not. I’m also referring to our emotional state of mind and to live a natural emotional life. Emotionally, natural to me includes happiness, a positive outlook, compassion, kindness and forgiveness. Because of my love for this kind of lifestyle, I define my “organic love” as a love for all wholesome things, from a physical stand point to an emotional perspective.
To me this is the most passionate kind of love you could experience. In my life, I feel irresistible love toward my husband and I most definitely feel it back. You know, that true, inspiring, romantic love. I feel extremely fortunate to live this type of love day in and day out. The best way I describe it is to think of one of those passionate, romantic movies that make you believe in love again and where the romance is too good to be true. Except that in my life, it really is that good. It’s amazingly good and I believe in my heart that this type of love is available and possible for every single one of us. It just takes time and a little bit of work on ourselves before we get there. It took me 37 years but I reached my irresistible love destination. However, before I arrived, I went through a lot of soul searching, spiritual connection and thought transformation. Once I diligently changed many aspects of my life, I was ready to meet the love of my life, my irresistible love. The ironic fact is that I didn’t know I was ready, it simply just happened. In hindsight, I think about what had changed about me to determine what drove me to that point. Something that stands out in my mind and that makes sense to me is that I consciously and subconsciously eliminated most negative situations, thoughts, people and environments from my life. And I finally can say that I am truly happy. Maybe when we are happy with ourselves and we’ve applied “unconditional love” upon ourselves, all other areas of our lives fall in to place beautifully. Irresistible love is possible and available to everyone that wants it.