February 13, 2015

If Love Is The Answer, What Is The Question

Love doesn't make the world go 'round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile. - Franklin P. Jones

It's February - the longest short month of the year. Winter has already gone on way too long but Spring is still a ways off, (so says the groundhog). The holidays are behind us and the credit card shock has settled in. There's there's nothing left now to celebrate - except L-O-V-E. 

In searching out information about St. Valentine for whom Valentine's Day is named, I found so many conflicting stories that it's difficult to know who he really was and which stories (if any) are true. 

Add to that reports that there was more than just one St. Valentine and how can anyone say for sure.

One account is that St. Valentine married young couples against an edict forbidding it. It was believed that men were better soldiers if they weren't married since they weren't afraid to die for fear of leaving loved ones.

Another telling has him continuing to preach of Christ against Roman law, landing him in prison, where he carried on his proselyting. A judge became aware of his teaching and tested him with a challenge to heal his adopted daughter's blindness. When he successfully restored her sight the judge was converted along with a number of others and released the Christian prisoners under his control.

Both stories tell of his martyrdom. He was allegedly stoned and beaten, and, when neither of those attempts succeeded in killing him, he was finally beheaded. I guess then you could say if the stories are to be believed, St. Valentine literally "lost his head"  in love - either by helping young couples in love or his own love for Christ. He may have been the first, but he surely wasn't the last who've "lost their head" in love.

Fast forward a few hundred years and the "St." has been removed and the holiday has become known as simply "Valentines" Day.
Our modern version of Valentines Day is, to me, the silliest of all the silly holidays. (No offense, Punxsutawney Phil.)

I'm not a Valentine hater. It's just silly to me to celebrate love on a day instead of every day - but hey - we're just people and people tend to need reminders of things like this. Even if that weren't the case, greeting card companies need to keep the revenues flowing so here we are. (Heaven knows we'd forget our own mothers without greeting card companies!)
So, what's it all about Alfie? If love is the answer - what IS the question? What is this mystical thing that makes us do things that we'd never dreamed we'd do? How is it that seemingly logical people can become totally discombobulated and act like complete imbeciles? Love seems to have different meanings to different people so I set out to see what some of those meanings might be. I thought you might enjoy knowing as well.

Love is when the other person's happiness is more important than your own.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

I like this take on love. If love could begin and ever remain on these terms, there would be a lot less heartache in the world. 

 Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up. - James Baldwin
If love is about growing up, why does it make us sometimes behave so childishly?

 There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness. – Nietzsche. 

Now we're talking. Madness in love is something I can relate to. I'll need to work on the reason in madness aspect. 

Love always brings difficulties, that is true, but the good side of it is that it gives energy.
Vincent Van Gogh

Van Gogh nailed it! Who has been in love who hasn't experienced that renewed sense of energy? Being "in love" feels like mania on steroids. It can make our nights sleepless and turn mere moments of separation into seemingly endless hours with just a sprinkle of its sparkle dust. Those early days of twitterpation cause complete upheaval and an all consuming drive to see, hear from, and spend time with the object of our affection. I for one hate it! I like to believe I have at least some control over myself (as misplaced as that may be) and "in love" is control gone fishin'.
There are those (probably many) who would disagree. 

 I love that feeling of being in love, the effect of having butterflies when you wake up in the morning. That is special. - Jennifer Aniston

I prefer my love sane and without fluttering insects thank you. That race of hormones on crack has a shelf life and can't continue long term. It's exhausting. Besides, all forward motion would cease if we were doomed to wander bleary eyed and dopey in love's stupor for very long.

Often, as love settles into something sustainable, many believe that the passing of the rush also signals the death of "love" and are heard to say  "I've fallen out of love." 
Many a heart has been broken owing to the leveling out of hormones. What a waste and how sad for those who live in the continual pursuit of that high. They believe they can't find love when what they're really chasing is a refill of a potent hormonal cocktail. 

Love is the most constructive and destructive force in the universe. Constructive when it causes us to be genuine, open, honest, and loyal toward others. Its ugly twin sisters, jealousy and obsession, can cause trouble in a hurry.

 Jealousy, that dragon which slays love under the pretense of keeping it alive. - Havelock Ellis

The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves. - William Penn

To be the object of someone's obsession is horrible.

Tippi Hedren

Enough said about that! 

I've both found love and lost love. I've nearly been destroyed by love and also healed and renewed by love, As painful an experience as loving can be, I can't imagine a life without loving. 

So, to that end I'd like to share my favorite poem on the topic. It's by a Persian Poet who wrote under the name Hafiz.

All this time
The sun never says to the earth,

'You owe

What happens
With a love like that.
It lights the




  1. Nice! Love the beautiful poem at the end.
    Another good quote: "It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails." 1 Cor 13:7,8
    I know this because I'm bearing, believing, hoping and enduring right now, and it will not fail! :)

    1. One of my favorites! How did I miss that. It was part of our wedding vows! Thanks for that addition!

  2. What is the question indeed. Love is a many splendid things. Happy hearts day, dear!

    1. Same to you Lux! Hope you have a great one.

  3. Awesome writing, people these days are in love with the idea of being in love and those Facebook updates do no good for them either, plus on-screen a la Hollywood romances make them feel compelled to be involved with someone.

    “To be brave is to love someone unconditionally, without expecting anything in return. To just give. That takes courage, because we don't want to fall on our faces or leave ourselves open to hurt.”
    ― Madonna

    1. Thanks for stopping by Rajmohan! If you like Madonna's quote, you'll LOVE this real life love story http://buff.ly/1zEe0O1
      It's an inspiration for me for sure! Hope you had a great Valentines Day!